Cherry petite pies

cherry petite pies

We ended up with a large bag of cherries after we hit the farm stands on our way back from Yosemite a few weeks ago which frankly weren’t so great after about the third day.  The weather turned warm here in San Francisco all of a sudden and the cherries got a little  soft and squishy sitting out on the countertop… I’m one of those people who loves cherries but only when they’re super firm and sweet.  What to do with not-so-great fresh cherries?  Bake a pie!  But instead of one large pie, I went for these petite pies.  They have a higher proportion of crust to fruit (and who doesn’t love a little more crust?) and they pack well for a picnic or hike.  Cherry season won’t last long, but you can substitute sliced plums or apricots (and the corresponding dried fruit) later in the summer.  Enjoy!

Cherry petite pies

1 ½ tablespoon corn starch
2 cups fresh cherries, rinsed, stemmed and pitted*
2/3 cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon cherry liqueur
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 14-oz package frozen all-butter puff pastry
Flour, for dusting
1 large egg white
1 ½ teaspoon raw (turbinado) sugar

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Stir cornstarch into 1 ½ tablespoons cold water in a small bowl and stir with a fork until cornstarch is fully absorbed.  Combine fresh cherries, dried cherries, liqueur, sugar and vanilla in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cherries release their juices.  (You can gently mash the cherries with the back of a wooden spoon as they cook to encourage this process.)  Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in lemon zest, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to an 18×15 inch rectangle.  Using a sharp knife, cut dough into nine 6×5 inch rectangles.  Whisk egg white with 1 tbsp cold water in a small bowl to make an egg wash.  Set egg wash aside.

Working with one pastry rectangle at a time, place on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash using a small pastry brush.  Scoop three tablespoons cooled cherry filling onto one side.  Fold dough over the filling so the short ends meet.  Press edges together with fingertips then crimp and seal with the tines of a fork.  Using a paring knife, cut a few slits into the top of the pie to create vents, then transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry rectangles and filling.  Brush each pie with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Chill assembled pies for 30 minutes. While they are chilling, preheat oven to 375F  and bake pastries until tops are flaky and golden brown, 30-40 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Note: I don’t generally push kitchen gadgets, but a cherry pitter is an especially helpful tool for this recipe and any recipe calling for fresh cherries.  You can pick one up for less than $10.

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25 Responses to Cherry petite pies

  1. Claudia says:

    These are just darling – I want to play, also. But I keep eating up all my cherries!

  2. I may have to give these a try. I to have the same problem – over ripe cherries in my pantry and I hate to just throw them out!

  3. Kat says:

    Hi Miri,
    these look amazing! I wanted to pin it for you to Pinterest but it doesn’t seem to work. I thought you should know (if it’s not on purpose) :-)

  4. Your cherry hand pies look so delicious. Perfect for on the go! Though, I never know if the cherries I buy aren’t so sweet because my sister gobbles them up before I can even get to them!

  5. Kate says:

    Those petite pies look like a small crust pocket of cherry goodness. The crimping is an attractive touch. And nice tip on the pitter – good to know when those kinds of things exist. Can you imagine how long pastry chefs have probably sat around their kitchens removing the pits by hand? Genius!

  6. Cheri says:

    I love these – so cute. I have spent the last few weeks munching on cherries, they are so good. I am going to try these soon! Good luck on your show!

  7. Susan says:

    Adorable, sweet, and easy. Fruit pies are the essence of summer. I like your use of three different cherry ingredients.

  8. Hannah says:

    So gorgeous! I bet my brother and dad would love these :)

  9. I love these cute little hand held pies!

  10. Looks delicious!!

    Cherries are my favorite summer treat :)

  11. Robin Sue says:

    So cute, and I agree, I do love more crust than fruit so these are the perfect solution. We have tons of cherries now and sugar plums. Yum!

  12. Love this! It’s my sort of “pie” too. Boo to squishy cherries :(

  13. Marla says:

    Hi Miri! Large bags of cherries are always fun. Especially when you put them in treats like this :)

  14. These are so cute! What a great summer treat.

  15. Monica says:

    LOVE THESE! Using frozen puff pastry dough makes them so much easier and faster. The smaller size is so darn cute, too. I’ve added these to my Pinterest recipe board (worked fine for me). I’ll make them next time my dad visits–he loves cherries. :-)

  16. Ann Claire says:

    Yum! Food is always better in petite form, I love all things mini!

  17. Michelle says:

    These look fabulous! I love that you can hold it in your hand while you nibble. Perfection.

  18. miri these look amazing!

  19. WOW! These look incredible! My daughter will love helping me try these tiny treats out! I’ve been craving cherries all Summer! Thanks for sharing this with me!

  20. Juliane says:

    These are adorable! My husband would especially love them in their little portable packages! Can’t wait to give them a try.

  21. Beautiful pies! Now I need to get my hands dirty baking a pie soon :)

  22. Soma says:

    oh these are sweet little darlings:) wish i could get my cooking mojo back and unpack soon enough to make these.

  23. AS says:

    SOO tasty!! Definitely went back for seconds (and thirds!)

    So sad I didn’t have a chance to make them before the cherry season ended.

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