These cunning mini cherry pies are baked in a muffin tin—making them easy to form and even easier to transport since you can just leave them in the tin.
This simple and classic recipe can be jazzed up with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, or a few gratings of lemon zest. Serve them as is or with whipped cream or ice cream on the side. As with all pies, be sure to let them cool completely before you serve them so the filling has a chance to cool and set.
Note: You can use this recipe with tart cherries, but you'll need to boil down and reduce their juices to about half first.
- Dough for 1 (9-inch) pie crust*
- 1 pound sweet cherries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch (or grind instant tapioca in a spice grinder until fine) or cornstarch
- 1 egg
Divide the dough into 9 pieces. Pat them into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Roll out the disks to 5-inch circles. For cleaner edges roll them out just a teeny bit larger and use a 5-inch round cookie cutter to cut clean edges or trace a small bowl with a sharp paring knife for a similar effect.
Gently use 8 of the circles to line 8 segments of a muffin tin. You can grease or oil the tins if you like, but it's not necessary since pie dough has so much fat in it. Cover and put the tin in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours.
Use the remaining circle to cut out decorations for the tops, if you like. Use small cookie cutters or freehand cut them. Put them on a plate, cover, and chill along with the other crusts.
Preheat an oven to 400F.
While the crusts chill, rinse the cherries, pat them dry, and pit them. No cherry pitter? No problem! See How to Pit Cherries Without a Pitter. Put them in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, vinegar, and salt. Let sit about 15 minutes. Stir the tapioca starch—stir really well so everything is combined.
Spoon the filling evenly into the crusts. Top with any decorations. Beat the egg and brush onto any exposed crust.
Put the tin in the oven, reduce the heat to 350F. Bake until crusts are browned and the filling is bubbling, about 1 hour.
Let cool completely before serving.
* You can use a store-bought crust, as long as it isn't already in a pie tin. This recipe for Buttery Pie Crust works nicely with these mini pies. If you want to make double-crusted pies or lattice tops, make a double batch of pie dough and divide it into 16 sections. See How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust for complete instructions on weaving a lattice top. Be warned: it is trickier to do in this teeny tiny format than on a regular sized pie!