These are a wonderful treat for picnics or brunch. The crust is my version of the family pie crust recipe. I streamlined it a little and made it easy to remember. The key is the order of the ingredients. Each one is half the amount of the previous. If you want to make a regular sized pie, use one cup of flour for each crust; for a fruit pie, you need two crusts. For the hand pies, I doubled the single crust recipe.
Remember to use vegetable shortening and real salted butter. The rest is simple!
Single pie crust
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup cold, salted butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Put the shortening and the butter pieces in the bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, mashed the fats into the flour. When the mixture has pieces about the size of rice grains, sprinkle on the water and sugar. Mix with the fork. You may need a little more water if the mixture doesn’t come together into a soft dough. Turn the pie crust out on the counter to form the dough into a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator. Make sure the dough is cold before you roll it out. Roll the dough on a floured surface and cut with a biscuit cutter or a large glass. Make 14 cut outs.
Cherry chocolate filling
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can dark sweet cherries, drained
Cadbury mini easter eggs or a few chocolate chips
After you have drained the dark cherries, put them on a paper towel to further remove extra moisture. Mix the cherries into the pie filling. Using a teaspoon, put about four cherries on six of the cut outs. Place one mini easter egg on the center of each. Place another cut out on the top and press the edges closed. Turn the edge over to make a scalloped edge. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. With a sharp knife, make a hole in the center of each hand pie top.
Bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. ♦