Happy 4th of July! Alaska factoid: we really don’t do fireworks this time of year because it doesn’t get very dark here in the summer months. But we still enjoy a day off with family, friends, and food.
I have for you one delightfully fresh and sweet recipe for individual Cherry Pies made in adorable four ounce Mason jars.
Canned cherry pie filling cannot compare to the summer flavor of fresh cherries. My trick for pitting cherries? I smash them lightly under my large kitchen knife (similar to how I peel my garlic cloves, but less pressure) causing them to break in half and the seed to come out easily. Just make sure you’re wearing an apron because pitting cherries does get juicy!
I used the lid of the Mason jar to cut the rounds for the pie dough, two rounds per pie, one for the bottom and one for the top. You can press the bottom crust all the way up the sides of the jar if you prefer, but I wanted everyone to be able to see what kind of filling was inside by leaving a little window in the middle to allow those gorgeous cherries to shine through.
Bake them until they bubble and ooze with fruity goodness. So pretty.
Feed your happy little tummy.
Mason Jar Cherry Pies
Adapted from [Family Kitchen|http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2011/06/20/cherry-and-blueberry-star-pies-in-jars/]
Yields: 4-5 individual pies, easily doubled
- 1 crust [pie dough|http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2012/04/14/buttermilk-pie/]
- 3c cherries, pitted and halved
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2T lemon juice
- 1/4t almond extract
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for top of pies
- 1T cornstarch
- 4-5 4oz Mason jars
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 4-5 four-ounce Mason jars and set them on top of a baking sheet (next time I would line with a Silpat or foil to catch overflow; not pictured, but recommended for easier cleanup).
Roll out pie dough and cut 8-10 rounds using a Mason jar lid. Press one round into the bottom of each jar. You have the option of pressing the dough all the way up the sides or leaving "a window" so you can see the filling through the sides of the jar.
In a bowl, mix together the cherries, lemon, extract, sugar, and cornstarch. Scoop cherry filling and juices into the Mason jars using a small spoon until pies are just full. Top cherries with the remaining rounds of pie dough. Tuck dough in around the rim gently and cut slits in the top of the pies.
Sprinkle each pie with sugar and bake for 20 minutes. Turn cookie sheet, turn oven down to 350, and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbling.