These adorable sweet cherry pie-lets are simple to serve and delicious to eat. Top with Meyer lemon cream for a burst of citrus flavor.
If you don’t have plans for Pi Day yet (March 14, AKA 3.14), these sweet cherry pie-lets are just the thing to help you celebrate. Don’t let their petite size fool you!
These little pies pack a big punch full of bold cherry flavor. Their small size means that serving and eating them is a breeze. And since they’re tiny, they bake and cool much faster than a traditional cherry pie, which means you don’t even need to plan ahead!
Ever since the time I broke my cherry pitter, I save fresh cherries for eating and use frozen cherries for baking instead. Since they’re pre-pitted, using frozen cherries saves time and effort.
It also means less cherry juice everywhere. The best part, though, is that you can enjoy cherry pie any time of year, even on Pi Day, which falls outside of cherry season.
Since I’ve been experimenting with flavorings for whipped cream, I decided to zest the lemon I juiced for the filling so I could mix its fragrant peel into heavy cream. Adding the zest before whipping the cream gives it a bright flavor that complements the sweet fruity filling in these little pies.
The tiny flecks of bright yellow zest throughout the Meyer lemon cream looked so pretty that I felt inspired to add small wedges of lemon on top. Since Meyer lemons are so sweet, you don’t even need to remove the wedges when you eat the pies!
Wishing you all the best for a happy Pi Day. Make the most of 3.14 with all of your favorite kinds of pie!
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 10 ounces frozen cherries, about 2 ¼ cups
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice (zest lemon before juicing to use in the Meyer lemon cream)
- generous pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ⅓ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cups unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
- 3 tablespoons ice water, strained
- Meyer Lemon Cream
- ½ cup heavy cream
- zest of one Meyer lemon
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- To prepare the filling, combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, whisking until smooth. Set aside
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cherries begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in cornstarch mixture and increase heat to medium high, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Mash the cherries with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. Transfer the filling to bowl and let it cool at room temperature. If preparing in advance, once filling is cool to the touch, store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- For the crust, whirl flour, powdered sugar, and salt in food processor with the blade attachment. Add about half the butter and whirl until no chunks remain. Add remaining butter and whirl briefly until the butter is chopped into pea-sized pieces. Turn food processor on again and quickly begin drizzling ice water through the feed tube, stopping before the dough comes together. Pinch some crumbs between your fingers; if they don’t stick together, add a bit more water and whirl briefly. Turn the mixture out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help you bring the dough together; fold the edges of the dough toward the center and press down until it holds together, taking care not to overwork the dough. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap the plastic wrap tightly around it. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll the pastry dough a thickness between ⅛ and ¼ inches. Using a 3¾ to 4-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter, stamp out as many flowers as possible. Gently transfer the dough to a standard-size muffin tin, tucking each flower carefully into one of the cups. With a fork, prick holes in the dough all over the bottom of each cup. If necessary, combine remaining dough scraps and re-roll to fill 12 muffin cups.
- Divide the filling between the prepared muffin cups. Place muffin tins in an oven preheated to 400°F. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350° F and continue baking for about 10 minutes, until the crusts are pale golden and the filling begins to bubble. Cool completely in muffin pans.
- To prepare the Meyer lemon cream, combine heavy cream, lemon zest, and powdered sugar. Using an electric mixer or hand whisk, beat until soft peaks form.
- Remove cherry pies from muffin tin with a thin metal spatula. Top with Meyer lemon cream, lemon wedges, and edible flowers, if desired.