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March 14, 2014

Cherry and Dark Chocolate Hand Pies for Pi Day

Cherry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies | The Crafting Foodie

This year we're celebrating Pi Day with some cherry and dark chocolate hand pies. What's Pi Day? Well, it's always on March 14 (3/14), in celebration of the number pi, whose first three digits are 3.14.Since pi represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, my hand pies had to be circles.

And just to reinforce that these cherry and dark chocolate hand pies are for Pi Day, the venting holes for the hand pies are the Greek letter pi.

Cherry and Dark Chocolate Hand Pies | The Crafting Foodie

As I've mentioned in my post for these apple-cranberry hand pies, I'm love hand pies. They're easy to eat (no plate or fork necessary). They are perfect for sharing (no giving someone a half-eaten pie). And most importantly, they have the perfect filling to crust ratio (no huge chunks of filling with a flimsy bottom crust).

Cherry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies Recipe | The Crafting Foodie

I really love the cherry and dark chocolate combination in the recipe. It's not too sweet, and the chocolate adds body to the tart cherry filling. It's the perfect way to celebrate Pi Day or any day!

  Cherry Chocolate Hand Pies | The Crafting Foodie

Cherry and Dark Chocolate Hand Pies

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated


Ingredients for the Pastry Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 tbs sugar

16 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup to 1/2 cup plus 3 tbs ice cold water

1 egg white, lightly beaten (for the glaze)

1 tbs sugar (for topping the glazed pies)


Ingredients for the Cherry and Dark Chocolate Filling

3 cups pitted cherries (I used good quality frozen, pitted cherries which I measured frozen then allowed to defrost before proceeding with the recipe)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp lemon juice (I used half of a medium lemon in order to yield the zest and juice)

A pinch of allspice (which means less than 1/8 tsp)

A scant 1/8 tsp of cinnamon

1/8 tsp almond extract

2 tbs quick-cooking tapioca

3 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate (chocolate with 70% cocoa content) chopped


Instructions for the Pastry


Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl.


Cut the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with large, uneven clumps of butter scattered throughout the mixture. Start by adding 1/4 of a cup of ice water. Mix with a spatula. Add enough water for the dough to just come together.


Split the dough into two equal pieces and flatten each piece into two disks. Wrap each disk of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.


Instructions for the Cherry Dark Chocolate Filling

Mix the cherries, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, tapioca, lemon juice and zest, and almond extract in a medium bowl.

Allow the ingredients to sit for 15 minutes to allow the cherries to macerate. While waiting for the cherries, proceed with assembling the hand pies.


Instructions for Assembling the Hand Pies

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly beat the egg white, and place it in a bowl with a pastry brush.

Taking one disk of dough out of the refrigerator, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1/8 inch thick. (I like my pastry to be nice and thin.)

Using a round cutter that's about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out circles. Re-roll the scraps only one additional time and stamp out circles. I only roll out the dough two times because any additional rolling will yield a tough crust.

Place the cut circles of dough on a baking sheet placing parchment paper between each layer of cut pastry. Refrigerate the circles.

While the first set of pastry circles is being refrigerated, cut out additional circles from the second disk of dough. Again, refrigerate those pieces on a metal baking sheet.

Retrieve the first set of pastry circles from the refrigerator. Take half of those circles and cut out a pi symbol. These cutouts will act as a vent to allow steam to escape from the pies. You can cut any shape you would like or simply make a few slits in the dough. When cutting out the pi shape (or any shape) in the pastry, make sure that the pastry is very cold and firm. Using a sharp knife will also be very helpful.

Take the circles without cutouts (they will be the bottom of each hand pie). Place a teaspoon of chopped chocolate at the base. Then place about four cherries (which a chopped in half with my spoon as I placed them on the dough) on top of the chocolate. Spoon over a bit of cherry juice. Place the pastry top of the hand pie (the piece of pastry with the hole) on top of the filling. Use a fork to seal the edges.

Brush the top of the hand pie with egg white. Sprinkle some granulated sugar on top.

Proceed to fill and crimp all of the pastry pieces.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, or until gold brown.

Yields about 18 hand pies.


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Your little pies sure look delectable! Perfect for Pie (Pi) Day! All you treats are so cute, and so is your little girl:)

Now you have ruined me, Aida. Cherry and dark chocolate are my absolute favourite combination. I know I wouldn't be able to make these as well as you so you are going to have to FedEx me a box of them every month - deal?
Your creativity knows no bounds, my friend! Gorgeousness!

So delicious ~ sounds so good with cherry and dark chocolate together. Very yummy. So glad you shared this post on your #simplybebetsy gallery.

Have a terrific weekend,
Sharon and Denise

Oh my gosh for real!? These pies are so cute with the symbol on them! Mmmm

What a delicious treat! And they're so cute :)

I love your Pie's for Pi Day. Your Cherry and Dark Chocolate filling looks delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
Miz Helen

Thanks so much Sue! Your kind words mean so much because I love, love your absolutely amazing cookie creations! Wishing you a great week!

Definitely! I'd love to send you a box every month! Seriously, my local post office knows me because I mail so many cookies. Heck, I have 12 nieces and nephews, plus friends, and parents. I'm always mailing treats. I also love dark chocolate and cherry. Actually I love dark chocolate with almost everything!

Thanks so much Sharon and Denise! Hope you have a great week.

Thanks so much Heather! I'm a total nerd, so I got a huge kick out of making these. What could be better than pie with pi? Hope you have a great week!

Thanks so much Lynn! I love hand pies, and these ones didn't disappoint!

Thanks Miz Helen! Hope you have a great week :)

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