Intimate Cherry Pie
Makes six four inch mini pies, single crust, berry filling. Total prep 100 mins
A delightful flower petal cherry pie.
This innovative pie is a great gift for your girl friends.
This cherry pie uses tart cherries with sweet oranges. It is the winning combination. I bake hundreds of pies and this one is at the top of my list. It’s just irresistible.
You will notice that this pie is not your ordinary pie shell. I wanted to dress it up a bunch. So the pie crust resembles a flower holding a cherry filling. To accomplish this some creative baking was done. See how I did it…
Flower petal pie crust:
How to make a flower petal pie shell
Some ingenuity and creativity are needed to compose the flower petal pie crust. Simply, we used the bottom side of the center of a bundt pan; you know those funny-looking pans for cakes with a hole in the center.
Bundt Pan – our secret tool to mold the flower
The Bundt pan needs to be of good quality, heavy gauge and non-stick. Butter the heck out of it where the pie dough will go. My pan has a closed opening in the center which is what we want to make our flower petal pie.
Lined with parchment paper
Cut a 1 1/2” to 2” strip of parchment paper and place it in the cavity of the bundt pan. Chill the pan in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Roll and insert dough
You must use an all-butter pie crust or all-shortening pie crust; most other pie crust recipes will stick to the pan. Roll it out to about 1/8” thick. A seven inch circle worked great for my pan. You might need to experiment to see what works for your pan. Make sure to leave enough hanging out of the center to cut out your flower petals.
Use your fingers to help
shape the dough to flower petals.
After pushing and smoothing the pie dough in the center of the bundt pan, refrigerate the dough for another 30 minutes. This will make the next step easier.
Cut out the flower petals
With the dough chilled hard cut out your petals. DO NOT use a metal knife; it might damage the non-stick coating. I prefer to use a good plastic knife or use the edge of a clean credit card.
Cut out five petals, almost like a five pointed star around the top edge of the pan. A five petal flower looks more pleasing than a four petal flower.
You guessed it. Chill it again
Chill the pie dough again for 15 minutes. Remove if from the refrigerator and place pie weights in the center. I like to use foil first.
Bake the flower pie crust
Preheat the oven to 400 and bake the flower for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights. Cover the edges only with foil and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes.
The cool down
Remove the flower pie dish from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Using the parchment paper as handles, give the pie crust a gentle twist. Once it moves freely, lift it out of the pan.
It is now ready for the cherry pie filling.
What are the Best Cherries for pie?
There are basically two types of cherries sweet and sour.
Sweet cherries: like the famous Bing or Rainer are best eaten out of hand or used to top ice cream. Once they are cooked their texture is compromised, and their flavor is weakened.
However, don’t take me wrong sweet cherries make a wonderful pie too. Some sweet cherry pie recipes use another sour ingredient to offset the sweet cherries like cranberries or a dose of fresh lemon juice.
Sour cherries: are the best for baking in pies and are sometimes called ‘pie cherries’. Sour cherries are mostly from in Michigan and hard to find elsewhere. A common sour cherry is the Morello. Morellos are identified by their very dark skin, flesh, and juice. They are very popular for things like cherry pie, cherry jam, and cherry preserves. The rich, distinctive flavor of the Morello cherry complements an assortment of ingredients, but especially chocolate.
Do not fret if you do not live in Michigan. Jarred Morello cherries work perfectly and can be found at your local specialty food markets. Morello cherries are bright red, firm and high in acid.
Cherries have been around for centuries. Their hot-red color and tangy sweet-and-sour taste won a place at the tables of Romans, Greeks and Chinese of wealth and power.
Cherries come to America in 1600
Cherries were brought to America by ship in the 1600s when colonies were settled. Later, the French colonists from Normandy brought their own cherry pits. They planted along the Saint Lawrence River and on down into the Great Lakes area. Cherry trees were part of many French gardens. French settlers established their cherries in such cities as Detroit, Vincennes, and other mid-western territories.
Modern day cherry production began in the mid-1800s by Peter Dougherty. He planted cherry trees near Traverse City, Michigan. These cherry trees flourished, and soon other residents of the area planted them. The climate proved to be ideal for growing cherries because Lake Michigan tempers Arctic winds in winter and cools the orchards in summer.
By the early 1900s, the tart cherry industry was firmly established in the state of Michigan.
Michigan - The top sour cherry grower
Today, the United States cherry industry produces more than 650 million pounds of tart and sweet cherries each year. Most of the cherry production is concentrated in Michigan and the Northwest. Michigan grows about 75 percent of the tart, sour, cherry crop.
Oregon and Washington harvest about 60 percent of the sweet cherry crop.
The National Cherry Festival is held every year in July in the "Cherry Capital of the World," Traverse City, Michigan. Thousands of visitors from all over the world come to celebrate the cherry harvest.
Intimate Cherry Pie Recipe
—Ingredients for six to eight mini pies—
Filling - Cherry Pie Filling
4 1/2 to 5 cups Morello cherries with juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
Try a dash of cinnamon
in the cherry filling.
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pinch salt
5 ounces coconut white chocolate
1. Pastry: Pre-baked the six inch pie crusts flower petal pie shells and set aside to cool. See the instructions above.
1. Cherry filling: Mix the cornstarch and sugar in a separate bowl.
2. Put cherries with juices in a heavy pot and mix in the cornstarch mixture. Cook the filling over medium-low heat.
3. Add the orange zest and salt to the pot. Mix it well.
4. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until it thickens a little on the heavy side and remove from heat.
5. Add the orange juice, almond extract and salt to the hot mixture. Stir it all together. The orange juice should thin the cherry filling down to the perfect thickness, not too runny and not too gooey.
6. Let the cherry pie filling cool down so that it is still warm but not hot.
7. Use a large spoon or an ice cream scooper to fill your flower pie crust with the cherry filling. Do not over fill the pie crust to the point they spill over.
8. Optional: For another dimension to this cherry pie recipe, brush on melted coconut white chocolate over the pastry before filling.
Cherry Pie Pie Success
Do not omit the orange juice and zest. Even though these cherries are sour, the citrus acid complements the cherry flavor.
It is alright to substitute with fresh lemon juice and zest.