Call me crazy. Obsessed.
But I err a little bit on the stalker-ish side of the spectrum when it comes to cherries.
I wait with bated breath and yearning taste buds for that first day of the year when the price drops, precipitously and without warning, from a small fortune per pound to (at least in NYC) less of a small fortune per pound.
And then. I pounce.
While most bags get carried around with me everywhere I go, like a security blanket in edible form, the cherries ready and waiting to be plucked out and devoured whenever the mood strikes (which, if we're being honest, is every thirty seconds). My last bag met a much grimmer fate.
The Cherry Massacre of 2012. Also known as The Day I Let Four Cups of Cherries Bleed Out On My Kitchen Table Without A Single Ounce Of Remorse.
It happened. There are splatter stains to prove it.
What can I say in my defense, other than that sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good.
And sometimes the greater good involves cherry guts on your ceiling and the most delightful cherry nutella hand pies in your oven.
That's an ethically sound argument if ever I've heard one.
This post was sponsored by Whole Foods Market in celebration of Cherry Fest which is going on there right now! Though the cherries and other ingredients for these hand pies were provided to me by them, free of charge, my thoughts on their deliciousness are my own. For more awesome ways to use cherries, check out the cherryrific recipes on their site!
Cherry Nutella Hand Pies
Makes about 30, adapted from MattBites and Smitten Kitchen
For the pie crust
- 8 oz chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 8 oz lowfat cream cheese
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp maple sugar or brown sugar
For the filling
- 4 cups pitted fresh cherries, chopped
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup nutella or chocolate almond spread
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cold butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the flour, salt, and sugar. Mix until the dough just comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, split it into two and form each half into a patty, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Remove one of the dough patties from the refrigerator and unwrap it. On a floured surface, roll it out so that it is 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough with a 2.5" biscuit cutter and set cut-out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue rolling the scraps until all the dough is used and then repeat with the second dough patty. Place pan with cutouts in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- In a large pan, combine the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and almond extract. Bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring, until cherry juice has become slightly thick. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Remove dough cutouts from the refrigerator. On one piece of pastry dough, spread a thin layer of nutella and top with about a tsp of the cherry filling. Cover with a second pastry dough and use a fork to press down and seal the sides. Return this to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture onto the top of each mini pie.
- Bake pies for 20-25 minutes or until golden with cherry filling oozing out.