Double-Cherry Pies

It’s book club night!  I’ve missed the last 2 months because of business trips, so I’m psyched to go tonight.  Of course I need to take something to share with 10 people.  Over the weekend I inventoried both freezers and found some cherries that I halved and pitted at some point.  Since I couldn’t remember exactly when, I thought I’d better use them.  Little cherry pies it is.

Believe it or not this is a Cooking Light recipe.  I think that must be because, according to them, it’s a less fatty dough than most pastry doughs.  I’ll buy that.  There are fewer than 300 calories in each pie.  And worth every single one.

I made the filling on Sunday and stored it in the fridge.  I’m not a fan of canned filling.  Too sweet and a very unnatural shade of red.  This filling is made with half fresh or frozen tart cherries and half dried cherries.  Add some sugar, butter, vanilla and citrus.  Finish with some cornstarch to thicken.  Easy, easy.  One confession – the recipe calls for fresh lemon juice.  I was already into cooking the cherries before I realized that there was not a lemon in the fruit drawer.  I did, however, have a can of frozen limeade concentrate in the basement freezer.  Yep, that’s right, limeade.  And it worked great!

Sadly I waited until I got home from work tonight to start on the crust.  Ugh.  Not so easy.  Admittedly pie crust is not a forte of mine, but I’d make this one again.  I think I pulled it off.  This crust is a mildly sweet cream cheese dough.  It’s hard to work with if you’re pressed for time.  Very soft and sticky.  I admit I left out the cider vinegar the original recipe calls for.  Honestly, I just forgot it.  I think that was fine.  Follow the instructions as closely as time allows.  By all means use the plastic wrap to help with the rolling.  Otherwise you’ll either tear it as it gloms on to your rolling pin or end up adding too much flour.  If I make it again I’ll do it the day before and let it chill longer between each step.  And it probably wouldn’t hurt the pies to freeze overnight after they’re made up.

The really good news is you get to drizzle them with melted chocolate when they’re done.  The recipe calls for melted white chocolate chips.  Clearly not.  There are very few occasions on which I would use white chocolate.  I don’t actually like to mix chocolate with fruit very often, but I have developed an affinity for tart cherries and dark chocolate.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any dark chocolate chips open so I ended up using the last of a bag of semi-sweet chips.  Still, much better than white chocolate.

Overall, these rock.  Rave reviews from Book Club. Just leave yourself plenty of time to get them done.  Or make extra crust and do it as one large 2 crust pie.

Good? About 18 different ways.
Easy? Nope. Not easy, not fast.
Good for company? Definitely. Adults, kids, everyone.
Special shopping? Nope. I didn’t even shop for the lemon.

Double-Cherry Pies

Ingredients

1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons  limeade concentrate
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen sour cherries, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon butter
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 Sweet Cream Cheese Dough circles
1/4 cup chocolate baking chips

Preparation

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan; cook over medium heat 7 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until butter melts. Stir in cornstarch and vanilla. Cool slightly.

Working with 1 Sweet Cream Cheese Dough circle at a time, remove plastic wrap from dough. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Spoon about 2 tablespoons cherry mixture into center of circle. Fold dough over filling; press edges together with a fork or fingers to seal. Place pie on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat procedure with remaining Sweet Cream Cheese Dough circles and remaining cherry mixture. Freeze 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Remove pies from freezer. Pierce top of each pie once with a fork. Place baking sheet on bottom rack in oven. Bake at 425° for 19 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and filling is bubbly. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until chips are soft. Dip a fork in the chocolate and drip over pies.

Sweet Cream Cheese Dough

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (2 ounces) chilled 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into small pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Preparation

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor; pulse 3 times or until combined. Add chilled butter, cream cheese; pulse 4 times. Add ice water through food chute, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing just until combined (do not form a ball). (Mixture may appear crumbly but will stick together when pressed between fingers.)

Place half of dough into a 1-cup measuring cup, pressing to compact dough. Remove dough from cup, and form into a ball. Divide ball into 6 equal portions. Repeat procedure with remaining dough. Cover and chill 15 minutes.

Place each dough portion between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Roll each dough portion, still covered, into a 5-inch circle; chill until ready to use.

Advertisements

One Response to “Double-Cherry Pies”

  1. Christie Says:

    These were incredible! Just a delicious tart and sweet flavor in one! I happen to be a huge fan of cherries and dark chocolate and these were a great combination.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: