Even though they’ve become trite and cliched, I love miniature desserts. I mean, how cute are these cherry hand pies? They’re adorable.
First of all, you can have more than one without feeling incessantly guilty for eating more than one dessert.
Eating two mini cupcakes?
Totally different than eating two full-sized cupcakes.
You see, as much as I joke about excessive French fry consumption and the inability to stop after one cookie, eating healthy is sometimes an uphill battle for me.
It’s not that I don’t like to eat vegetables (love them!) or want to eat the foods that make me feel stronger, lighter and more energetic (I do!), but I’ve never been blessed with a small frame or a speedy metabolism.
And yet, I like to eat, including the occasional indulgent dessert.
Therefore I have an especially strong appreciation for dessert that have built in portion control.
Unless you eat four. That’s a story for another day.
I think the point I am trying to make is that even when you have a generally healthy relationship with food, it’s freaking hard to balance that with exercise and a healthy lifestyle. No matter what though, my version of a healthy balance just might include individual cherry pies.
Cherry Hand Pies
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or about 12 ounces frozen pitted cherries, unthawed
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14-ounce package all-butter puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
Flour (for dusting)
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons raw sugar
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl to blend. Combine fresh cherries and next 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cherry juices are released, about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture; bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to an 18×15″ rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into nine 6×5″ rectangles. Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl for egg wash.
Working with 1 pastry rectangle at a time, place on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash. Scoop 3 tablespoons cherry mixture onto one side; fold dough over filling so that short ends meet, forming a 5×3″ packet. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in top of pie to vent. Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle with raw sugar. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake pastries until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Let stand at room temperature.[print_link]