Completing the patriotic trilogy is this week’s sweet, Cherry Pocket Pies. Pie seems to be jumping to the forefront right now in the culinary world. All sorts of fun new pie accessories are crowding out novelty cupcake liners at my favorite cooking shops, twenty dollar jars of pie filling grace the shelves of gourmet grocers. I am not going to say pie is the new cupcake (because I have reserved that title for donuts) but I do think pie is gaining the respect it deserves beyond traditional bakers who guard their crust recipes with their lives.
I made these pocket pies using this mold from Williams-Sonoma. If you use my pie crust recipe, make sure the dough is very cold when rolling it out and cutting it with the pie mold. If the dough is not well chilled, it will stick to the pie mold.
Laurie shared cherries from her backyard cherry tree. I used them to make the pie filling. I had never made cherry pie filling before (but readily admit to using the goop in the can before) and was amazed at how easy making your own pie filling is. I’ll never buy the canned stuff again!
Cherry Pie Filling
1 cup pitted cherries
1/4 cup cherry juice (or you can use water)
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
Cook cherries in a saucepan with juice or water for 10 minutes over medium heat. Mix sugar and cornstarch together then add to cherries. Cook an additional 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
2 1/2 cups of my favorite gluten-free rice flour blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 T. granulated white sugar
1 t. xanthan gum
1/4 cup shortening (I use Crisco sticks)
1 1/2 sticks of butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup very cold water (I believe this is the trick to a good pie crust, water and butter must be cold)
1 egg for egg wash
1/4 cup granulated sugar for sprinkling on top of pies
Mix flour, salt and sugar together. I do not sift the rice flour blend, however if you were substituting all-purpose flour, I would sift. Add Crisco and break up with a pastry cutter. Next add the butter and mix with pastry cutter. Begin adding the cold water, just a little at a time until you reach the texture of pie crust dough.
I divided this dough into two equal balls and chilled them between two sheets of plastic wrap for 30 minutes. Instead of rolling out on a floured surface, I simply roll my dough between the sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out to the thickness of pie crust.
Using the star-shaped pie mold, I cut one half of the dough as solid stars and the second half of the dough with star-shaped vent holes. Follow the instructions for the pie mold (which are easy–put crust in mold, spoon in filling,brush edges with egg wash, top with second piece of crust with vent hole, press together) and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust browns slightly. Gluten-free crust will not brown as deeply as a regular pie crust, but this crust recipe does take on a nice golden color near the end of baking.
This week’s Sweet Friend is Tamie. We met 13 or 14 years ago through a professional organization and shared the same profession for many years. Then Tamie moved on, made the jump from owning her own business to a job with paid vacations and benefits. I’m slightly envious, yet I miss the flexibility Tamie used to have when she could leave the confines of self-employment for a long lunch on a weekday.
Early on in our friendship, we discovered that we were both born late into our families, with siblings nearly old enough to have children our age. We both had older sisters living on the Gulf Coast. We both love the beach more than the average tourist. Oh–and we both love sweets! A lot.
Tamie has seen me through thick and thin, literally. We’ve shared lots of giggles together at the beach, in the mountains, in Vegas. Everywhere I’ve been with Tamie has always been fun and memorable. I really enjoy shopping, just not usually with anyone else, but Tamie is the exception. We could both spend hours shopping for home decor, shoes and purses, re-fuel with a sweet treat and get back to it! While shopping and eating out, we’ve concocted the solutions to resolve all of the world’s problems. Just so you know, the solutions all begin with pie, bread pudding or chocolate. Now if we could just get the rest of the world to listen…