Vegan, gluten-free cherry hand pies
3 cup(s), fresh, pitted or 1 lb frozen dark sweet cherries
fresh lemon juice
1 tsp(s), cold
gluten-free baking flour
¾ cup(s), measure for measure variety
vegan stick butter
4 tbsp(s), well-chilled
1 tbsp(s), or up to 2 tbsp, ice cold
- Place cherries, sugar, lemon juice, almond extract, and pinch salt in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cover and simmer together for 10 minutes or until juices are released. Lightly mash cherries with a mashed potato masher or fork. Combine cornstarch with cold water, and then stir into cherry mixture. Simmer for 1 minute to thicken. Remove cherry pie filling to a heat-safe container and chill well, for at least an hour in the refrigerator or up to a day ahead. While filling chills, make the pie dough.
- Whisk together flour, 1/8 tsp salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut vegan butter into small pieces and scatter on top of flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or two butter knives to cut butter into flour until small pea-sized clumps form. Sprinkle with vinegar and 1 tbsp ice water, and use a fork to gently combine. Add more ice water until dough forms into a ball.
- Place a large piece of wax paper on your counter and put dough in the center. Use a butter knife to divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Gently shape each piece into a round disk and place on wax paper 6-inches apart. Top with another layer of wax paper and use a rolling pin to gently roll each disk into a 4-inch circle.
- Coat a 6-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray and use a spatula to gently place a dough circle in each muffin cup, pressing up the sides. (Note: Gluten-free dough is much more crumbly than typical pie crust. It’s ok if it breaks when you move it into the muffin cup. Just use your fingers to press extra bits in around the sides and bottom to form a solid crust.) Use a fork or your fingers to crimp edges. Place muffin pan in the refrigerator to chill with filling for 30 minutes or up to a day ahead.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide cherry pie filling evenly among pie crusts. Bake for 20 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is lightly browned. Let cool completely and carefully remove using a small spatula or butter knife.
- Serving size: 1 pie