The curse is broken! Drama-free pies, at last. And what a way to break it. You guys, making mini pies is not only infinitely less stressful than a giant one, they’re also a lot more fun to eat. Your very own little personal pie. With ice cream, or not. The choice is yours. But you know what the right one is.
These little pies are topped with an easy lattice, filled with a sour cherry and plum extravaganza and they bake up into the most buttery, most flaky, most perfect little summer desserts. Let’s do this!
Topped with a scoop of melty vanilla ice cream, I promise you will demolish one of these, and start on another before you know what’s happening.
I used a combination of plums and cherries, but you can always use only either one, adjusting the sugar as needed because fruit tend to be a little on the sour side. This pie crust is also sweeter than I’d normally make it, only because of the fruit. Not cloyingly sweet, but just enough to qualify as indulgence.
You do need to set aside a few hours to do this because the crust must be cold, and the lattice must be cut and ready so that you can top the fruits immediately and send it all into the oven. Typically, I would let the fruits macerate a bit so that they release their juices, but for this one, I wanted all the sugar in the fruit, not left behind in the liquid. So the filling is quickly mixed up and spooned straight into the little pie dishes, onto the bottom crust.
As the pies bake, the filling will ooze some juices and begin bubbling, that’s when you know it’s done. It might cause the pie to stick to the dishes, that’s ok. All the better to serve with! If you don’t have individual dishes, you can use a 6″ pie dish, or double the recipe and use a 9″ pie dish instead.
I have lots of tips and instructions in the recipe below, so dive straight in. I promise these are easy to make, they just need a little patience. And if I could find some, anyone can. Happy pie-making!
- For the pie crust
- 1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 tbsps caster sugar*
- ½ tsp salt, if using unsalted butter
- ½ cup cold butter, cubed (115 gms)
- 1 to 2 tbsps ice water
- 2 tsps cream to brush on the crust, optional
- For the filling
- 400 gms cherries
- 3 to 4 plums (or another 100 gms cherries instead)
- 2 tbsps caster sugar
- ½ tsp cornflour
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder, optional
- To make the pie crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt, if using, in a large bowl.
- Using your fingertips, rub the cold butter cubes into the flour till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with a few larger bits of butter scattered through. These bits are what create a flaky dough.
- Add 1 tbsp of ice water and bring the dough together. You are looking for a soft, but not excessively wet dough. Add the second tablespoon of water a little at a time, you may not need to use all of it.
- Form the dough into a rough ball. Place iton a large piece of clingfilm and pat into a ¾th inch thick disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours. This dough can be chilled or frozen longer, as long as its thawed at room temperature for about 15 mins before rolling.
- Bring out four 4" pie dishes, or one 6" pie dish. Unwrap the dough and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. I like using a silicone mat to roll out the dough.
- Sprinkle on a little flour and roll out the dough into a roughly 10" circle. Using a bowl that is about an inch wider than your pie dishes, cut out four circles from it.
- Lift each circle of dough and place it in the pie dishes, pressing them up against the sides and trimming the edges. Any torn or thin bits can be patched up with small bits of the dough. You will have enough scraps left over to roll into another small ball. Roll it out into a roughly 8" circle. Slice into equal strips, about 1" wide. You don't need to worry about perfection here, as long as you have about 16 strips, to make 4 lattices.
- Place the prepared pie dishes and the lattice strips in the fridge to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Now, make the filling. Prep the fruit by slicing the cherries and plums in half and removing the stones. Add to a large bowl and stir in the sugar, cornflour and cinnamon.
- Give the mixture a quick stir, then remove the pie dishes from the fridge and spoon the filling equally into each one. Not letting the fruit sit by itself too long ensures the sugar doesn't get left behind in the juices. Any juices released while baking are thickened by the cornflour, so worry not.
- Arrange the strips of dough in a criss-cross lattice pattern on top of the filling in each pie. You will need 4 strips for each pie, adjust accordingly if you're making one large pie. Use leftover scraps of dough to patch up any bits as needed.
- Mix the cream with a teaspoon of water. Brush generously onto the lattice and the edges of the pie.
- Bake for 20 to 25 mins until golden-brown, then cover the dishes lightly with foil and bake for another 20 mins until the filling is bubbling.
- Let the pies stand for 15 minutes, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream!