Sour Cherry Pocket Pies
One of the things I love best about summer is going fruit picking. Growing up we went every summer and I had the fruit seasons memorized. So when I went this past weekend to go cherry picking I stood there slightly flabbergasted when the girl told me that cherry picking season had ended. What?! But cherry season lasts the whole month of June! I’m sure of it! But nope. No cherry picking for me. Turns out I was right, the season had ended early because of a poor crop from all the rain we’ve had. I felt slightly vindicated in knowing I was right. All was not lost though, they had several quarts of vibrant, shiny, red sour cherries for sale. I hadn’t really wanted to make a pie, I mean I’m moving this week! Do you know how long it takes to pit cherries?! They were just too beautiful to pass up though and really, everyone knows I can’t go 2 days let alone a whole week without baking something!
I did cheat…a little…OK, a lot. I’m so ashamed to even admit it but I used pre-made, refrigerated pie dough. You have to cut me some slack though, as it was I was unpacking boxes to make the pies! I didn’t have time to make my own dough! So just overlook this indiscretion just once and promise me you’ll make your own dough (it will be worlds better!). The good news is that the filling redeems the pies. It is aromatic and bursting with flavor thanks to a touch of cinnamon and vanilla bean paste, oh and the fresh homegrown cherries has nothing to do with it The best part (you know, other than eating them) is the smell of them baking. It is the exact smell that wafts through the air at my favorite farm stand: a buttery, spicy, sweet pie kind of smell
Don’t have a cherry pitter? Check out this link on how to make your own! How to make a home made cherry pitter
-I just recommend pitting the cherries from the top rather than the bottom-I found it much easier to remove. Oh and wear gloves and line you’re counter with paper towels
combine pitted cherries with sugar and some spices
Pie dough, either 4-10 inch refrigerated rounds or this recipe doubled
4 cups sour cherries, rinsed, pitted and de-stemmed
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup white chocolate baking chips (or 4 ounces white chocolate chopped)
1. In a medium saucepan combine cherries, sugar, vanilla, vanilla bean paste, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine and set over medium heat and continue to stir occasionally. In a small bowl, stir corn starch into orange juice until dissolved. When the cherry mixture comes to a boil add the orange juice/corn starch mixture and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and set the pot aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk together the egg and water for egg wash and set aside. Roll the pie dough out to a 1/4 inch thick and with a knife or pizza cutter cut the dough into 10, 6 inch by 5 inch rectangles. Working with 1 rectangle at a time, place the dough on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash. Scoop 2 tablespoons cherry mixture onto one side; fold the dough over the filling forming a 5 inch by 3 inch packet. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the top of the pie to vent. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Brush the tops of the pies with the rest of the egg wash and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. (I think this may take longer for a home made pie dough so just watch it-its done when its golden brown and flakey).
3. Let the pies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. In the mean time melt the white chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl. Drizzle the tops of the pies with the white chocolate and allow it to set before serving. Enjoy!