I love cherries...their bright color and tartness are just amazing.
Dan however does not feel the same way I do. He also hates olives, but we won't discuss that, haha.
I think these would be amazing for a Valentine's Day gift because you know...all the red and hearts : )
I adore my heart cookie cutters that my Mom gave me, and especially the teeny tiny heart that is from when I was young, it's very special and old.
When I hold it I am instantly transformed back to all the holidays we used it to cut out sugar cookies.
So if you know me then you know I like to plan ahead or at least help you plan ahead so you should make these soon. Valentines Day will be here before we know it!
Plus they are inexpensive (even better) and it will look like you slaved for hours in the kitchen (which you definitely won't have to).
So all you need for this masterpiece is a pre-made pie crust you have left out to come to room temperature (a few hours is fine), a tbs or two of cornstarch, a lemon, and a jar of cherries in their juice.
Or if you are feeling like pressing the easy button just grab a pre-made pie crust and a can of cherry pie filling. That's it!
I like to add a touch of citrus so it makes those flavors of the cherry POP out! You can do this to the canned filling as well.
Aside from that I REALLY like to zest things, haha. I zest everything. At one point Dan said..."I don't need orange zest in my coffee baby." No fun.
That's actually Dan's cheese grater which is made by OXO and I LOVE this thing. I use it a ton, so by default it's now my cheese grater since I have stolen it.
So I zested about 1/4 of the lemon, (but again this isn't required) and added about 1 tbs of the juice to taste. Cherry pie filling can get VERY sweet so this is a nice way to balance the flavors out.
I then put the cornstarch in to thicken it up (the kind in the can is already thickened up for you). Heat that sauce up on medium for about 5 minutes and stir it occasionally and keep an eye on it. It will thicken up. If it doesn't fear not, just add more cornstarch!
Doesn't that look so good?!
Now while the sauce is thickening up you can roll out the dough.
Yes, I "cheat" and rarely make my own crust. Please no judgement. I somehow feel that if I purchase the dough it doesn't actually contain the gobs of fat I know actually goes into a pie crust.
Ignorance really is bliss at times especially when it comes to eating desserts.
My dough came from Trader Joe's but any grocery store uncooked pie crust will do.
I like to sprinkle a little flour so the dough isn't sticky. It helps!
Then grab your muffin tin and cut out some circles large enough to fill each muffin tin.
My muffin tin isn't HUGE so I just used a drinking glass that was roughly the same size to cut out the circles. You could also use a mason jar lid if you have one handy or a pastry cutter.
*Make sure to SPRAY YOUR MUFFIN TIN LIKE CRAZY before you put them in or they will stick and be a pain to get out*
I have learned this lesson a few times before.
After you have placed the dough circles in the bottom of each tin roll out more dough and cut the same amount again for the tops.
Then grab your cookie cutters!
You can use anything you want. For the 4th of July stars would be awesome, but really anything you have is awesome. You could also mix up your filling too and do blueberry, apple, etc...
Then simply press the cutters into the tops to give them a design. I used my hearts ; )
Add your filling to the muffin tins and apply the tops. Make sure to seal them by pinching the two sides together or if you'd like, just add a cookie cutter cut out on top of the filling and leave it be.
I added a little lattice to some of mine, but literally the sky is the limit, have fun with it!
Then be sure to follow the directions for baking the crust and when the tops get nice and golden brown they are done!
How cute is that mini pie?
Now make sure to grab yourself a hot cup of tea or coffee and enjoy all of your "hard" work ; )
You can also wrap them up when they are fully cooled and give them away to your loved ones...or eat them all, either one is totally acceptable.
I hope you enjoyed this post.