It's odd. I've never liked cherry pie. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that I've never had a cherry pie that I liked. Talking to mom, we came to the conclusion that they're usually too sweet and gooey. Yuck. Nevertheless, when I saw people coming through the checkout with pints of local, organic Hartland cherries last night, I had to have some too. And I bought them with the intention of making little cherry pies.
To avoid the too sweet, too gooey quagmire, I decided to approach my cherry pies as I would an apple pie. I used about half of the amount of sugar called for and omitted the quick-cooking tapioca entirely. Instead, I used a bit of lemon juice, a couple tablespoons of flour, and as I said a fraction of the sugar. These modifications produced the desired effect, the only complaint being that there wasn't quite enough filling. A happy problem and an easy one to fix.
makes 6 3-inch pies
- 1 recipe pie crust (you'll have extra)
- 1 1/2-2 cups cherries, pitted and quartered
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- very scant 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs. flour
- Make pie dough and refrigerate at least one hour before rolling. Pit and quarter the cherries. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and flour, mix to combine and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Roll out half the dough, leaving the other half in the fridge, and line 6 3-inch tartlette pans. Refrigerate the lined pans while you roll out the other half of the dough. Fill the pie shells with cherries, leaving behind some of the juices that will have formed. Dot the top of each pie with butter. Cut strips of dough with a fluted pastry wheel from the rolled out dough. Weave a lattice on top of the cherry filling and trim the edges. Brush the tops with an egg/cream wash.
- Bake at 450°F for 7 minutes. Reduce to 350°F and bake an additional 30-35 minutes, until crust is golden and fruit is bubbling.
- Cool in pans on wire racks for 15-20 minutes. When you feel it is possible, turn pies out of pans and return to racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.