To celebrate the American Pie Council's National Pie Day on January 23 and in preparation for Valentine's Day, I broke out my heart-shaped pocket pie mold and whipped up my famous little cherry pies. The pies are so easy and cute, how can you go wrong? I always feel good about indulging in homemade organic treats (in moderation), and you can't beat the health benefits of cherries!
Ingredients (all organic)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
16 tablespoons cold butter or vegetable shortening (I use half and half)
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
1/2 to 1 cup pie filling
Egg wash-1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Vanilla ice cream
To Prepare: In a food processor pulse together the flour, salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 6 tablespoons ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed, but should not be sticky. Add 2 more tablespoons ice water if needed (Note: a hand held pastry blender may also be used.) Divide the dough in half, cover, and refridgerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
On a floured surface roll out 1 dough disk into a round 1/16 to 1/8 inch thickness. Using the outside of the pocket pie mold, cut out 2 shapes of each side (bottom=full heart and top=heart cut-out) and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the second dough disk.
Place a solid heart dough shape in the bottom half of the cutter and genly press the dough into the mold. Fill the center with 1-2 tablespoons pie filling and brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash. Top with a heart cut-out shape and press the top half of the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie. Remove the pie from the mold and replace on the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To Bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the pies with the egg was and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the flling is gently bubbling, 13-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
To Eat: Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmmmmmmm!