The note inside the package from American Spoon stopped me in my tracks.
“Hope these preserved cherries bring fond memories of your trip to Michigan’s Cherry Festival.”
The timing was perfect, actually. Not only is it National Cherry Month, but the chilly weather (even in California!) and non-stop work schedule made me long for a few days in Traverse City, Michigan, eating cherries and basking in ridiculously long summer days.
My trip to this part of Michigan in 2010 goes down as one of my favorites ever taken. I heard from so many Michigan natives after that post, many of you from Traverse City, and I can shamelessly tell you that I am jealous of you. That’s right, I’m not afraid to admit it. Jealous of the sunshine during summer, the smiles and conviviality, the lake, and most importantly, those cherries.
Oh, those cherries.
My pantry has a permanent place for dried tart cherries as well as a few jars of preserves, but as luck would have it I was completely out of the preserves when my box from American Spoon arrived. I call this Perfect Timing.
Realizing we only had a few days left to celebrate Cherry Month, Adam whipped up a crust of butter, cream cheese and a little bit of brown sugar. Tucked inside the dough went American Spoon’s Fruit Perfect, they baked and cooled before a Vanilla Bean Glaze was brushed and drizzled on top. I photographed them, using every ounce of my being to hold back devouring them. I double checked my camera’s memory card, realized my shots were good to go, and ate a few without hesitation.
And then I ate more.
Oh Michigan, I really do miss you.
Tart Cherry Hand Pies
For The Dough
4 oz butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
For The Egg Wash
1 tablespoon milk
For The Glaze
1/2 cup powered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 vanilla bean, sliced and seeds scraped out
For The Filling
about 10 oz Fruit Perfect Sour Cherries from American Spoon
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cold butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to just a little over 1/8″ thick. Cut the dough with 4.5″ cookie or biscuit cutter.
Continue rolling the scraps until all the dough is used. Make sure to keep the dough covered once cut. This recipe will yield 12 dough circles.
To fill the pies, lightly brush the edges of the dough with egg wash, place about 1 teaspoon of Sour Cherries in the center. Fold dough over and press lightly to remove air. With a fork crimp the edges, dipping the fork in flour to prevent sticking. Once you have filled all the pies place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425˚.
Remove from refrigerator and brush with remaining egg wash and with a sharp knife cut two slices in the top to vent. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cherry filling is bubbling out. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack. When the pies have cool, brush or drizzle glaze on. Serve at room temperature.
By the way, have you seen the American Spoon catalog? They live in my permanent collection of beautiful printed catalogs and if you can get your hands on one I really urge you to do so. Breathtakingly beautiful they are.