Cherry Hand Pies
Yield: about 6 hand pies
FOR THE CRUST:1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup(1stick) cold butter, cut in small pieces
1/8 cup shortening- chilled
3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
Put the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter and shortening over the dry ingredients and pulse until it is coarsely cut in-you should have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Drizzle the water over the mixture. Using on/off pulses, pulse just until the dough holds together when pinched. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
FOR THE FILLING:
8 ounces fresh or frozen sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375°
Pit and roughly chop the cherries. Place in a bowl and add the sugar, almond extract, lemon juice, and corn starch. Mix well and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 4 inch cutter cut out circles. (I got five 4 inch and 1 smaller circle out of my dough) Place the cut out pieces of dough onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the cherry mixture onto one-half of each round. Lightly brush a little milk around the edge of the covered half of each round. Fold remaining dough over to enclose, forming a half moon. Gently press edges together with the tines of a fork to seal. Brush the tops of each pie with milk. Using a paring knife, slash the top of each pie.
Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pies to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Dust with powdered sugar. Pies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
*NOTE: I used Rainer cherries because they are my favorite but Bing cherries are great too.You could also use sour cherries if you want, just add a little more sugar to the filling.