My picky-picky husband LOVES cherry pie, but for some reason, he gets overwhelmed with a whole pie, go figure!! I think it is the whole "get out a plate and fork" thing, haha!! So, I decided to take a cue from Shelby, over at Life and Loves of Grumpys Honeybunch . She recently posted some little blueberry tarts (which I made at Christmas and they were fantastic), so I decided to do them this time with cherry.
The result was perfect and hubby was so happy with his "grab and go" treats. It didn't take him long to put a mini-scoop of vanilla ice cream on his mini-pie (he used the melon baller...so funny).
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
3 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup flour
Mix with electric mixer (I use my stand mixer with paddle attachment) until you get a smooth dough. Wrap it in plastic and chill for about an hour.
(1) 14� ounce can tart pie cherries packed in water
3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon corn starch
pinch of table salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (do not leave out)
1 teaspoon butter
Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid. Put the liquid, 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt and the cornstarch in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil (while stirring) and cook until it gets VERY thick.
Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, the drained cherries, the almond extract and butter. Stir until the butter is melted, then cool the filling.
Preheat oven to 375 and spray a mini-muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray. Cut the chilled dough into 24 pieces and roll them into a ball and place in the prepared mini-muffin tin.
Now, you have to use your fingers and spread the dough across the bottom and up the sides of each mini-muffin space. Better yet, if you have tart tamper or something similar, this step will go MUCH faster. I use the rounded end of the wooden tool that came with my Kitchen Aid meat grinder, it works absolutely perfectly. Try and get the crust just a little taller than the edges of each muffin space (this helps keep the pie juices from dripping over (see photo).
Fill each of the little dough cups with some cooled cherry pie filling. It usually takes 3-4 cherries and just a "dab" of the "goo?" Don't overfill.
Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes on the TOP RACK of your oven. When the edge of the crust is light golden brown, they are done. Let them sit in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing them to a rack.