Cherry Hand Pies
- Cherry Filling:
- 1¼ cup thawed frozen cherries, reserve all juice
- 1 TBSP lemon juice, fresh
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup reserved cherry juice
- 2 TBSP corn starch Pie Dough
- 8 TBSP shortening, chilled and cubed
- 8 TBSP butter, chilled and cubed
- ⅓ cup cold water
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1 egg yolk, mix with 1 TBSP water for egg wash
Put lemon juice in a measuring cup that has a ¼ cup measure on it. Add cherry juice (and water if needed) to make ¼ cup total.
Put liquid in a small, heavy-bottom sauce pan. Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a separate bowl and add to the liquid in the pan. Cook on medium-low, stirring, until sugar dissolves and then simmer (you should see small bubbles) until liquid thickens, about 3-5 minutes, and coats the back of a spoon. Add cherries, bring the heat back up to bubbling and simmer until liquid is thick again, almost jelly-like, and surrounds the cherries, approximately 2-3 minutes.
When thickened, put cherry filling in a small bowl to cool. Once cool, store in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use. The filling should be cold and well set up before putting into pie dough hearts. It will be much easier to handle. Filling can be made 1 to 2 days ahead of time.
Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add both shortening and butter and mix until a meal is formed with some pieces the size of small peas. Add water and mix until dough comes together around the paddle. This will take a while. If needed, use up to 1 TBSP extra water.
Split dough in half and roll each half between 2 pieces of parchment paper until a thin dough is formed. Refrigerate on sheet pans for easier cutting. Have all dough well chilled.
Cut out the hearts using a 4½ to 5-inch cookie cutter (one about the same width as length; if the heart is too pointy, it will not hold much filling). Cut out your shapes with a floured cutter, and set on a parchment covered sheet pan. Cut out as many hearts as you can, and save the scraps. Repeat with the other sheet of dough. Re-roll all scraps together until you have a total of 12 or 14 hearts to make 6 or 7 hand pies.
Once all cut, divide hearts into two categories; thinnest and thickest. You will be rolling out the thicker hearts so they are slightly bigger than the other hearts -- they will be used as the top crust for each heart.
Cut 3 pieces of parchment paper 6 x 6-inches for each heart: one for the bottom crust, which will stay with the heart hand pie all the way through the baking process, and two for the top crust, which will be rolled a second time to get just a little larger.
Roll the thickest hearts in between two 6 x 6-inch pieces of parchment. Roll lightly in each direction so the heart grows at least ½-inch or more, all the way round. You may need a bit of extra Pamela's All-Purpose Flour on your hands to stop any sticking while handling the dough. Remove paper from both sides, so dough is not stuck.
Place a thinner heart on a piece of parchment. With the egg wash, use your finger to lightly run around the outside of that heart. This will be the glue. Fill center of heart with a heaping tablespoon, or whatever amount fits comfortably on the inside of the egg wash. Rearrange cherries to fit shape better if necessary. Keep filling from running into the egg wash on edges as this will make them leak.
Gently take a larger heart and lay it over the filling and bottom crust. Line up all edges, before pressing together with finger tips, so cherries are all enclosed. Flour your finger and run it around the pressed edge. Now flour a fork and press edges all the way around, re-flouring the fork as necessary. Using a spatula, gently left the pie with its bottom parchment paper to a sheet pan and refrigerate. Repeat the process until all hearts are done. Let all pies chill until dough is firm.
The assembled pies can be frozen and baked later (wrap well to avoid freezer burn).
Preheat the oven to 400 ° with rack in the lower third of the oven. Cut 2 slits in the top of dough as vents, and brush lightly with egg wash. You can also sprinkle with sugar, but wait until right before going into the oven so it does not melt. Do the same with frozen pies.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes then turn down to 350° until golden and red bubbles start to come out the slits, about 20 to 30 more minutes. Cool on a rack.