One bite of these mini pies, and your Fourth of July guests will be reaching for seconds and thirds.

By Joy Howard

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Credit: Joy Howard

Recipe Summary

active:
40 mins
total:
1 hr
Yield:
18 mini pies
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Filled with a homemade cherry filling and topped with a sugar spangled star, these two-bite pies are an all-American treat that add sweet whimsy to any July 4th party spread. It might seem daunting to make them from scratch-especially for a crowd-but we can assure you that baking a batch can be faster than you might think. In addition to shaving off some time by using store-bought pie dough, we recommend a pastry tamper for pressing the dough into the muffin tin wells. It's not essential to making the recipe, but if you don't have one it's well worth the investment. It can turn the work of shaping and molding dough into a far less time-consuming task-enough to make it a good tool to have around even if you don't use it often. You can find them online at Amazon or at your local cooking store.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, brown sugar, lemon peel, and cardamom with ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil, the reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Spoon a few tablespoons of the liquid from the pan and place in a small bowl. Add the cornstarch and whisk with a fork to make a slurry. Pour the mixture into the pan and stir to combine. Continue to cook the filling, stirring occasionally, until well thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool completely.

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  • Heat the oven to 400°. On a lightly-floured surface, roll one of the pie crusts out into a 12-inch round. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to shape a cut a circle from dough. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a well in a mini muffin tin to form a crust. Repeat with the remaining dough, shaping, gathering and re-rolling, as needed to form about 11 mini crusts. Roll out the second portion and repeat the steps once more to form 6 more pie crusts. Use the remaining dough and a mini star cutter to shape 18 stars.

  • Fill each pie crust with the filling and top with a pastry star. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash, then sprinkle with sparkling sugar. 

  • Bake the pies until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan.

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