See? This is what happens when I allow myself to bake. Originally I planned to make more turnovers today. Just enough to use up my leftover cherries. But the truth is that a small batch of turnovers was enough and I wanted more cherries so I could keep some for snackin on. I figured I’d take a quick trip to Aldi for more cherries and come back to make a quick small batch of mini pies.
To make a long story short, I rode my bike to 3 different Aldis, followed by Menard’s, Dominick’s, Binny’s, Stanley’s & Home Depot. I've created a monster that can't be stopped.
Turns out Stanley’s sells cherries for 1/3 the price of Aldi. So there’s that. And the rest is a blur. No more shopping for at least a week for me. But, all said and done, I did come home with a pint of plump, ripe, and amazingly delicious blueberries, 3 lbs of cherries, some mango rum, and more than enough butter to support my habits.
I can't stop taking pictures of bowls of cherries!
More to the point, This is the first time I have ever made pie. I’ve just always been more of cake girl. To make matters worse, most times I’ve made a big cake or something to that effect it has been for an event, and people have just never requested pie. What I’m trying to say is that its not my fault. But I did always feel like I would know what I was doing when it came time to make one. And you know what? I did. Granted, these were mini pies but I say no difference. I got this recipe from Zoom Yummy and oh em gee is it delicious.
Seriously. The filling is delicious, rich and simple and the crust is perfectly flaky and crumbly. Actually, I’m pretty impressed with myself on this one. (And grateful for the recipe of course)
Lately I have been on this kick where I want to make different flavors of one thing at the same time. (I.e. instead of making a whole batch of one kind of crème brulee, I split the recipe up into 4ths and made different flavors of each one.) Sounds like a good idea, I know. But mostly its not. When I do this, I usually spend the entire time cursing myself and muttering words like “abysmal” “stupid plan” and “disaster.” This time I couldn’t resist. I wanted to make ¾ of the filling recipe with cherries and ¼ of the filling recipe with blueberries so I could fill most of the mini pies with cherry and make one or two blueberry ones. Hardly the same as trying to gently boil 3 tablespoons of cream in a saucepan so that I can have 1 lemongrass crème brulee. Plus, I’m getting better at math already.
All went quite smoothly I must say. I’m just going to post her recipe as it is. If you want to make mini ones instead of 1 big one do the exact same thing but do it in a cupcake tin.
If you want to make the freeforms just roll out a rough circle to the same thickness, spoon some filling into the center and fold up the top, pressing it together where the dough meets. Brush it with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes before putting it in a 400ºF oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden and crispy.
Recipe Soundtrack: “I Hear Music” By Billie Holiday. (Billie is just pie music. She just is.) - Plus this song is the ultimate in musical good mood makers.
THE BEST CHERRY PIE
For the Crust-
2 1/2 cups (325g) flour, all-purpose
2 sticks (220g) Butter, cold
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons water, cold
3 Cups Cherries, pitted and halved
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1. To make the crust, place the flour, butter, sugar, salt and water into the bowl of your electric mixer. (I used a food processor, which worked fabulously.)
2. Mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Then work with your hands until the dough comes together and you’ve formed a nice, compact ball.
4. Place the dough into a bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
In a saucepan, cook the cherries in water for 10 minutes.
5. Mix together the sugar and cornstarch and add to cherries.
6. Cook the cherry mixture until it thickens – about 5 minutes. (It took me less than this)
7. Cool slightly before using to fill your pie shell.
8. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it onto a well-floured surface.
9. Cut it in about ‘2/3 : 1/3′ ratio. (a bigger and smaller half – here, I said it.)
10. To form the pie shell, roll out the ‘bigger half’ on a floured surface into a 14-inch (35 cm) round.
11. Wrap around your rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate.
12. Fit gently into the bottom and the side of the plate. Trim the dough to a 1-inch overhang.
13. Then go on and fill the shell with the delicious filling.
14. Then grab the ‘smaller half’ of the dough, roll it out into a 14-inch (35 cm) round as well.
15. Using a sharp knife, cut it into even strips (you can use a ruler to guide you). Form a lattice. (The original recipe has a great step by step guide to this. There is also a similar one here.)
16. brush the top of the lattice with a lightly beaten egg yolk. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes (or until golden brown).
17. Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for about 2-3 hours.