Back when I made the apple-toffee hand pies I thought that there could be lots of options for making those pies, not just apple. My wife mentioned that one of her sisters had done something similar and had used cherries. So that was what my next attempt would be. And of course, I ran out and bought some fresh cherries the very next time I went to the store. Usually I do pretty good about pacing myself and planning meals so that I don’t have a ton of food sitting around that is slowly going bad, but sometimes I get ahead of myself. And of course the cherries sat there in the fridge until I finally decided that I needed to make the pies or else I was just going to throw them away.
But I couldn’t just do cherry. I had to do something different. I had this idea about cherries jubilee. What if that is how I cooked down the cherries before putting them in the pie? Of course I sold myself on the idea. It’s easy right? Just through some brandy or something in the pan and light it on fire. Right? Well, you try Googling “cherries jubilee” and see how many variations you get, some of which don’t even contain alcohol. I finally settled on the recipe below, which was a Martha Stewart one (don’t judge). I decided on that one mainly because I had all the ingredients and it wasn’t overly complicated.
So I set out to pit the cherries, make the jubilee and the pies. Since I don’t have a fancy tool to pit the cherries I just took a small knife and ran it around the cherry, effectively cutting it in half. I then squeezed the out out and moved on. Not that it was hard but that ranks up there with peeling and de-veining shrimp. Time consuming and ridiculous as you can buy them already done. Once the cherries were done drained them and even squeezed a little extra juice out as I didn’t want a big mess with the pies. As I had pointed out with the other pies, I probably could have filled them more so I made sure to pile it up this time. It made for a little harder time covering it with the second piece of dough but it was worth it.
I used the same 9″ pre-made, refrigerated pie crust and cut 12 circles out of each piece with a 2 3/4″ biscuit cutter. You can do it but the last one just makes it and has some edges cut off a little bit. I had just a few cherries leftover and those are saved with some of the juice for ice cream later. Speaking of ice cream, these were fantastic (much better than the apple ones) and went great at the bottom of the bowl of vanilla ice cream.
1 pound cherries, pitted
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup kirsch (no idea what this is, didn’t even bother to Google it. I used brandy)
Melt butter in a large skillet. Add sugar and cherries. Stir to combine and cook for until the sugar is dissolved and the cherries tender, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Add kirsch/brandy/bourbon and carefully ignite (carefully! I was and it still “poofed” up pretty big). Cook until the flame is extinguished.
Drain cherries, reserving juice if desired for some other use. I saved some with the extra cherries but tossed the rest.
1 pkg (2 pieces) 9″ refrigerated pie crust
1 egg, lightly beaten
Cut 12 rounds out of each pie crust. Place half on a greased baking sheet (or parchment paper). Lightly brush with the egg. Top with about 1 heaping TBSP of cherries (eyeball it). Cover with the second round of pie crust, pushing around the edges to seal. Brush tops with egg.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.