** Cherry season is finally here!! It's a short one though, so be sure to pick some up at the market while they're around. The trick to finding the perfect cherry is to look for shiny & plump cherries, with a fresh green stem and dark coloring. Be sure to keep your cherries attached to their stems and store in a paper bag until your ready to use them. Here's a great "hand-pie" recipe you're sure to love!
Fresh Cherry Hand-Pie
Baking Time: 60 min. Servings: 8
· 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
· 2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
· 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 teaspoon 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 18x15" rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into nine 6x5" 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 5x3" 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°F. 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.
-- Big Hugs! Chef Nikki