donut pan idea no. 85: little cherry pies

This ones a doozie! It's probably medium-well on the difficulty scale, but only if you're not a baker. There's a little unscientific crust patching going on, and I think I could use the advice of a professional baker to help get them out of the pan easier. But besides all that, these are straightforward enough for most.

These are beautiful little donut shaped cherry pies. I wanted them to be hand pies, but they are just too flaky, and maybe I cut too many slits for the steam to escape while baking, making them so fragile. So you'll probably eat then with a fork. If you do, be sure to fill the center with ice cream. Cherries are peaking right now, so you should think about making these now. I started with my favorite sweet cherry galette recipe from Martha Stewart and adapted from there. This recipe makes SIX hand pies, but you still need two donut pans. That's crucial.

1 batch of Pâte Sucrée, a rich and crumbly pie crust dough. This is the one I use.
12 oz. fresh, in-season sweet cherries
1/4 c. sugar pinch of salt 
1 egg yolk 
1 tbsp. heavy cream
more sugar
Something to grease the pans with, like baking spray, or maybe line with foil. That would've been smart!

There are a lot of photos here, because it does get complicated.

Split your dough in half and roll each half into a rectangle. Cut each rectangle into six pieces,
each a little larger than your palm.

You will cover each of the twelve donut molds with a piece of dough. Make and "x" like this at the center.

Press the dough into each mold. You should end up with two pans like this.

On both pans, make sure the dough goes up AT LEAST to the top of the pan, but better if further up. THEN, on only one pan, trim a little here and there to use to cover the middles. Press it in and around and patch as needed. Try to patch outer edges as needed too.

You should have one pan like this. Put this pan, and the other pan
(without the center patches) in the fridge for 30 minutes.

 Pit those cherries, and chop them into quarters.

Combine cherries with sugar and salt.

When the crust trays have chilled, fill them with the cherries. The filling can and should be higher than the edge of the pan. You're trying to make a donut here!

Now take those other six chilled crusts, pop them out of the donut pan, and press and mold them on top of the cherries. Work with that center piece of dough we filled in earlier to help seal the centers. The better you do at this, the better the removal will be at the end.

Really get in there. It will be ugly looking, but I'll fix that!

Soon you'll have six full pies. Press the empty tray on top of the full one, and refrigerate again for 30 minutes.

Pay attention here. These were not flipped over. These were taken by hand, removed from their original pan and put BACK into their original pan "upside down", so the smooth side is up, not the misshapen side from all the manhandling.

Beat the egg yolk and heavy cream and brush over the exposed crust surfaces.

The final step before baking. Slit as you see fit to release steam. I think my eight slits were about
six slits too many. Maybe ask your grammie. Also, dust with more sugar.

Bake at 375° for about 40 minutes until golden brown and they look like this.
Keep your eye on them while they are in the oven.

Really gorgeous, right?

The backside, not so much. The culprit was an ungreased donut pan and central berry leakage. I worked with a clay knife, which bent a little with the pans and helped get some out a little smoother. I would love a solution to this. Got one?

But! Like with most things, there are ways to hide the flaws. If I hadn't mentioned it you would've have even known. They look beautiful in little wax bags or on a plate, ugly side down!

You will probably find most people don't care at all what the back looks like, by the way.


  1. total food pron!!!!

  2. WOW - those look amazing!!! I'm tellin' ya this is a book in a book the making!

    1. Thanks, Ann! And the book....I'm working a few angles as we speak. ;)


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