I love a good pie especially one with a great flaky crust (actually the crust is my favorite part). I've not been one to make them though, I think crust has always intimidated me & I'm afraid I'll end up with something more like cardboard than flaky goodness. But we bought some beautiful sweet cherries in the market this week & I though I'd try my hand at making a pie. Maybe joining the Daring Bakers has made me feel like I can handle any baking challenge.
I found this recipe in Small-Batch Baking & according to the directions its no harder than making biscuits. Ok, I've been making shortcakes (which are basically biscuits) over the last week so I can do this. Plus it's mainly done in a food processor so even easier. It came out buttery & flaky just like a good crust should.
These single-serving pies look quite rustic, almost more tart-like, but the flavor is all pie. Oh & the smell while they are baking is amazing thanks to the cinnamon & vanilla in the filling. This is a great small batch recipe because it doesn't require any special small bakeware.
I'll be making these again & again this summer as different fruits come into season, I can't wait to do blueberry. I also think I'll make a double batch of the crust next time & leave two discs of the dough in the freezer to make having pies in the future even easier.
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t sugar
3 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 t ice water, or more as needed
Place the flour, salt & sugar in a food processor & pulse to blend. Sprinkle in the butter pieces & pulse until they are reduced to the size of small peas. Sprinkle 2 t of the water over the flour & process until small clumps of dough form. Add more water, 1 t at a time, if the dough is dry.
Tear off two pieces of wax paper & gather the dough on one of the sheets. Form the dough into a ball & then divide it in half. Form the halves into discs & wrap each separately in the wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, place the discs on a lightly floured surface & roll out to form a 6-inch circle. Put the circles on a baking sheet covered with either parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place the baking sheet in the freezer while you make the filling.
(I altered this recipe slightly by using lemon juice instead of the called for orange. Also I used cornstarch as my thickener instead of the quick-cooking tapioca the book uses.)
1 1/2 cup cherries, pitted
1 T water
3 T sugar
2 T lemon juice or orange juice
2 t corn starch or quick-cooking tapioca
1/8 t salt
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla
Place the cherries, water, juice, corn starch, salt & cinnamon in a sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat until thick & bubbly, stirring constantly, for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat & stir in the vanilla. Allow the filling to cool throughly.
Assembling The Pies
2 t sugar
Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the dough from the freezer. If it is too hard to bend let it stand for a few minutes. Spoon the filling into the center of each circle leaving a 1-inch border. (I found I had a little more filling than I needed.) Fold the border up over the filling, pleating as needed. Brush the crusts with a little water & sprinkle 1 T of sugar over each pie.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream.
I found these reheated nicely at 350F for 5 minutes on a baking sheet. Make sure to use a silicone pad or parchment paper for easier clean up of the filling that will bubble over.
Makes 2 single-serving pies.