I first made these “Tiny Pies” for Easter many years ago and the original recipe, while good, was not great. I have changed it many times since then, even going so far as making my own pie crust, and have settled on this as my favorite version. I have chosen to stick to the original recipe on the crust and buy it. Most people would call this cheating; I will call it convenient, and quite honestly, better than my homemade. I plan to master the art of pie crust at some point in time, but that time has not yet come.
You can choose to put any filling in them (I have even done chocolate), but for this post I made Cream Cheese Cherry. I chose to use canned cherry pie filling because cherries aren’t exactly in season in the winter months in Kansas, but I have previously made theses pies with homemade fruit filling, which is even better.
Here’s what you need:
1 box refrigerated rollout pie crust (15oz.)
1/2 block cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 can cherry pie filling, I use the kind with “more fruit” so the pies are generously full
1/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
3″ round cookie cutter
2″ round cookie cutter
mini-muffin tin with 24 holes
Here’s what you do:
Remove pie crusts from pouches and unroll, one at a time, onto your work surface. I like to flatten it out with my rolling pin to make it even and slightly bigger. Using the cookie cutters, cut out 18 to 24 three-inch rounds and 18 to 24 two-inch rounds. Spray the mini-muffin tin with non-stick baking spray, and press the three-inch rounds into the tin making sure that the edges extend slightly over the sides of the cups to form the bottom crusts. I fold the rounds into an X shape to fit them into the tin and, then flatten them out to form the crusts.
First, lightly brush the exposed edges of the bottom pie crusts with butter; this will help to seal the top crusts to the bottom. Next, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together to form the bottom layer of the filling. You can spoon this mixture into the bottom of the crusts, or I like to place it into a plastic freezer bag, squeeze the mixture into one of the bottom corners, and cut a generous hole in the corner to form a disposable pastry bag. Spoon or pipe a dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of each of the pie crusts. Then, spoon about a tablespoon of the cherry pie filling (three to four cherries) on top of the cream cheese in each crust.
For the tops, cut small vent into each of the two-inch rounds. My cookie cutter isn’t exactly two inches, so I roll out each of the top crusts slightly before cutting the vents. This also makes the top crust thinner, which I like. Place the two-inch rounds on top of each pie, and seal the edges. I do this by pinching the two layers of crust together to form a lacy edge. Lastly, brush the top of each pie liberally with melted butter to help with browning. At this point, you can sprinkle the tops with sugar, if desired. I like to cover my pies in powdered sugar glaze, so I choose to opt out of this step.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 14 minutes, until golden brown. Remove pan to wire cooling rack for two minutes, then remove pies from the pan and place on cooling rack. At this point, I mix together 1 cup powdered sugar with 1/2 cup half and half to form a glaze and dip each pie’s top. Lastly, I sprinkle with clear sugar crystals.