Today, July 5th, has unofficially been declared “Pie Day.” It’s a grass roots movement that started spontaneously on Twitter and Facebook when people started talking about how much they like pie, like making pie, and how sad they are that many are too afraid to take on making pie crust.
So, in the spirit of making life better through pie, we were encouraged to make any kind of pie we prefer: gluten-free crust, cornmeal, lard, butter, whatever we like, Even a pre-made crust is acceptable, in a pie dish or free form, big or small. My contribution to the event is Sweet Cherry Hand Pies, a combination of fresh and dried cherries wrapped in a puff pastry shell.
No plates or forks are needed with these little beauties. They are perfect for picnics, camp outs, trips to the beach or the local park. You don’t even have to worry about making a finicky crust. Just use easy, versatile puff pastry that is available in almost every grocery frozen food case. I hope you will try these delicious and very easy to make little pies while cherries are in season.
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or about 12 ounces frozen pitted cherries, unthawed
- ⅔ cups dried cherries
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (my addition)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 14-ounce package puff pastry
- Flour for dusting
- 1 large egg white
- 2 teaspoons sanding sugar
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stir constarch and 1-1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl to blend. Combine fresh cherries and next 5 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until cherry juices are released, about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture, bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to an 18"x15" rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into nine 6"x5" rectangles. Whisk egg white with 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl for egg wash.
- Working with one pastry rectangle at a time, place on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash. Scoop 3 tablespoons cherry mixture onto one side, fold dough over filling so that short ends meet, forming a 5"x3" packet. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Using a sharp knife cut a few slits in top of pastry to vent. Place on prepared baking sheet, repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle with sugar. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake pastries until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.