- 4 cups fresh pitted cherries
- 1 cup sugar (for filling)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 6 cups all-purpose flour (5 ½ for pie dough, ½ for rolling dough)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup ice cold water
- 3 tablespoons sugar (for sprinkling on top of pies)
- Nonstick spray
For the Cherry Filling:1. In a saucepan, combine the pitted cherries and 1 cup of water.
2. Heat over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch; whisk the ingredients together, making sure that there aren't any lumps in the cornstarch.
4. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and lemon zest to the saucepan with the cherries.
5. Cook the cherry mixture until it comes to a rolling boil. Cook for 1 minute more, until thickened.
6. Allow the cherry filling to cool slightly while you prepare the crust.
For the Crust:1. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and butter.
2. Pulse the processor until the mixture resembles small peas.
3. Remove the lid and add the ice water to the mixture.
4. Run the processor just until the mixture rolls itself into a little ball. If the mixture is a bit dry, add more ice water by the tablespoonful until it comes together.
5. Gather the dough into a ball. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
Creating the Pies: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Dust a flat surface with a 1/2 cup of flour and place dough in center. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the dough.
3. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to be 1/8-inch thick.
4. Using a 4-inch, circle-shaped cookie cutter, cut circles of dough to line the muffin tins for the bottom of the pie.
5. Using a 2 ½-inch circle-shaped cookie cutter, cut an equal amount of circles for the top of the pie.
6. Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter (no bigger than 1 ½ inches, cut out a heart shape in the center of each top piece of dough.
7. Spray muffin tins with non-stick vegetable spray.
8. Place the bottom pieces of dough in the muffin tins; push dough into the sides of each, leaving a small lip around the top edge of the tins.
9. Fill each tin with the cherry mixture.
10. Moisten edges of the top piece of dough with water and press onto top of each mini pie.
11. Once sealed, brush each mini pie with water and sprinkle with sugar.
12. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.