Individual Sour Cherry Pies

As summer is rapidly coming to a close a little voice keeps reminding me to use the sour cherries I froze last year. Eek… They need to be used soon.This summer I have made sour cherry crisp 3 times, a sour cherry cake that was kind of a flop, 2 carrot cakes, a chocolate hazelnut brioche loaf, a rainbow cake, a pecan tart,  and a couple of sour cherry cakes with streusel topping. I needed to try something new.

I came across a recipe for individual sour cherry pies. I had sour cherries and I had some individual tart/pie pans I brought from Germany a couple of years ago. So it was time to inaugurate the pans!
For the pastry I was inspired by both Martha Stewart and America’s Test Kitchen. Thank you both.

This recipe called for:

2 1/2 Cups of all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Whey Low sugar substitute
2 Sticks (1/2 pound) of cold butter – in pieces
1/4 cup plain Vodka
1/4 cup cold Water

4 Cups of Frozen Sour Cherries (1 1/3 Pounds)
1 Cup of Whey Low sugar substitute
2 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
Juice and Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons Skim Milk (or regular milk or cream)

Individual Sour Cherry Pie

See all the details after the jump:
For the pastry I measured out the vodka & water and set them aside. I then measured out the flour, salt, and Whey Low into a medium mixing bowl. I cut up the butter into small pieces. Then used a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until there were small piece of butter coated in the flour. I then added the vodka mixture and mixed with a fork until it came together.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Flour, Salt & Whey Low
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Butter
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Cutting in the Butter
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Water & Vodka
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Bringing the Dough Together

I emptied the mixture on the counter and formed a ball. I cut the ball in half and wrapped each half in plastic and refrigerated them for an hour. I think this pastry is at it’s best when left overnight.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – A Final Quick Knead
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Cutting the Dough in Half
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Dough Wrapped and Ready for the Freezer

While the pastry was chilling I ensured the sour cherries were pit free by cutting each partially frozen cherry in half. Once I was sure all pits were removed I placed the cherries, Whey Low, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest into a medium bowl and mixed them well. I placed the bowl in the fridge while I rolled out the pastry.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Filling Ingredients
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Zesting and Juicing the Lemon
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Filling Ingredients to a Bowl
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Mixed Filling

I rolled out the pastry according to the directions and cut it into 6 pieces. I then fit the pieces in the pans. I did have to piece the pastry together to get everything to fit correctly. In the future I would split the dough into 6 pieces and rolled each one out individually. In the end everything looked fine.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Dividing the Dough for the Bases
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Fitting the Dough to the Pan
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Final Adjustments

I split the filling between the 6 pans then rolled out the other ball of pastry. I cut 6 pieces and them fit them to the top each pan.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Filling the individual Pies

I mixed the egg and cream together in a small bowl then brushed the top of each pie. The pies went onto a lined baking sheet. Then I cut a vent hole in each pie and let them rest in the fridge until the oven heated to 450. I should have cut the vent in the pies just before they went into the oven.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Ready for the Oven

When the oven reached temperature I took the pies out of the fridge and brushed them again with the egg wash and popped them in the oven for 40 minutes.

When the pies came out of the oven I let them cool on their sheet on a rack for 30 minutes. After removing the pans I let everything cool for another hour or so.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Just out of the Oven
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Final Cooling

Turned out awesomely! If I do say so myself.

Cooks Notes:

  • this might be the place to use a shortening or butter/shortening crust as the pans are small and the pastry would be in smaller pieces
  • I would make 25% more filling to ensure the individual pies are crammed full of flavour!
  • I have come up with my version of pie dough it can be found here

New Things! and a Spiced Pumpkin Cake

This week I received my new Kitchen Aid 600 Watt 6 Quart Mixer.  It is very nice.For my first project with the new toy I decided to make something pumpkin. I found 2 large cans of pumpkin in the cupboard when I moved. Although it is spring, or even summer, across the continent here in the Pacific Northwest a rainy spring has been lingering. It is so bad this month is being nicknamed June-uary. So in celebration of June-uary I made a Spiced Pumpkin Cake – a Martha Stewart recipe.

For this recipe I used:

For the Cake:
4 Cups Cake Flour
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
4 Tablespoons Buttermilk Powder
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
2 1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cups Pumpkin Puree

1 Cup Icing Sugar
1 Teaspoon Milk

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

More after the jump….
After preheating the oven to 350˚, I sprayed a bunt pan with oil and lightly floured it.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake – Floured Bunt Pan

I sifted all of the dry ingredients together and set them aside.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake – The Dry Ingredients

In the bowl of the mixer I creamed the butter and brown sugar using the paddle attachment for 4 minutes, scraping the bowl twice.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake –  Creaming the Butter & Sugar

After scraping the bowl again I added the eggs one by one mixing thoroughly after each egg. The mixture looked a little gritty.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake –  Adding the Eggs

After scraping the bowl I added 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/3 of the water. After scraping down the bowl I repeated 2 more times.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake – First Flour Addition
Spiced Pumpkin Cake – After the last of the liquid

After a quick scrape of the bowl to ensure everything was mixed I poured the batter into the prepared pan. I baked the cake for 55 minutes as the recipe said but I ended up needing another 12 minutes – total 1 hour 7 minutes – until the toothpick test came out clean.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake – In the pan

After cooling the cake for a couple of hours I topped the cake with the icing and let the cake sit again.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake – After cooling

Then we tried it!

Spiced Pumpkin Cake – Its on the list to try again
Spiced Pumpkin Cake – The Ingredients
Spiced Pumpkin Cake – After measuring everything out
Spiced Pumpkin Cake – Just out of the Pan

New Cookbooks

During the summer I picked up a couple of new things! Well…. one was a thoughtful gift.I picked up a copy of Donna Hay Magazine Issue 62  – Autumn 2012. I picked this up in July. Autumn in July! As this is an Australian magazine it was Autumn there. I can’t wait to try out a bunch of things from this issue: Ginger Cardamom Pomegranate Syrup Cake, Toffee Custard Pots, Soft Caramels, Rum & Date Cake with Caramel Sauce, and home made Dulce De Leche. I will have to translate from Australian to Canadian…but that is an easy sacrifice!

The second acquisition is Martha’s American Food. The mid west section seems to temp me most.

Happy Cooking!

Donna Hay & Martha Stewart

September 10, 2012 Update…. The Pot Roast Recipe in Martha’s American Food is the best I have ever had!

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