Yes, I know the whole cherry tree story about George Washington is fiction…but I prefer to ignore that in order to justify making (and eating) cherry pies for his actual birthday, which is today. I’m an ostrich when it serves my purpose.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I love all the Wisconsin cherry products available in our local grocery store. For these pies, I decided to use a jar of filling from Door County rather than making my own, since the only ingredients at cherries, juice, sugar, and cornstarch…the same as I use when making it from scratch. Plus, I was feeling lazy.
The only other ingredients are two pie crusts (I made my own, but store-bought is perfectly fine), a beaten egg, some powdered sugar, and a bit of sparkling sugar to sprinkle on top.
First, roll out the dough slightly thinner than a pie crust…you want it just thick enough that it doesn’t tear when you pick it up, but not so thick it’s doughy when baked. Use a bowl or other round object about 4” in diameter to cut out circles of dough. You can get about 12 circles from two pie crusts, rerolling your scraps.
Spoon a scant two tablespoons of filling onto one half of each circle. Resist the temptation to overfill…they’ll leak for sure if you do, then you’ll get even less filling left in them! Dip your finger in a beaten egg and run it around the outside of the dough circle, to help it seal.
Fold half of the dough over the filling and seal with a fork, being careful not to puncture the dough. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (with a rim, just in case you have a leak!).
I also have a heart-shaped pie press that I ordered a few years ago from Martha Stewart. I use it to make a few of these, because the kids like the smaller, heart-shaped ones better. They’re kind of a pain, though, so go right ahead and only make round ones. Here’s how to make the heart-shaped ones:
Place a tablespoon of filling on rolled dough, cut out one heart and put it over the filling, then press down with the pie press. I always have to reseal them with a fork, and they still tend to leak.
Bake the pies at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until barely golden. Remove from oven and let cool. Make a glaze of 1 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Dip the tops of the pie in the glaze and place back on the parchment to dry a bit. While glaze is still wet, sprinkle with sparkling sugar if you’d like.
See… those hearts didn’t stay sealed. At least no filling leaked out to be wasted!
My grandma Dixie used to make fried apricot pies for holidays, which were delicious. My mom then inherited the making of the fried pies, and began baking them rather than frying. She uses store-bought rolled pie crusts, and she rolls them so thin she can make 16 out of two crusts. Someday I’ll be that good! Until then, I’ll just enjoy the crunchy crust and the ooey-gooey, oh-so-good filling. Hope you do, too!
I’m partying at the Pi Day Pie Party at Crazy for Crust today. Come party with us!