Mini cherry Pimm’s pies.

Mini cherry pies with Pimm's liqueur.

I told you. I have had a lot of cherries. I received an amazingly large shipment of beautiful Northwest cherries from Rainier Fruit Co, and while I used most of them for canning and preserving, there were a decent amount that got too soft or weren’t right for that purpose. And that’s okay- it happens! They were excellent for eating fresh right out of the bag. But I needed to bake.

You know how that is. When you just have to bake something, even if it is 90º?

Well, yeah. That happens to me, anyway. So I decided to bake up some mini cherry pies… with a twist: I added some Pimm’s No. 1 Cup to them.

Pimm's cherry pies.

Pimm’s Cups are one of my favorite summer drinks; Pimm’s has a super intriguing taste and in general it just seemed like a good addition to a sticky, sweet, cherry pie. Pimm’s is a liqueur from Britain:

It has a dark-tea colour with a reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit. As a summer long drink, it is also commonly served with “English-style” (clear and carbonated) lemonade, as well as various chopped garnishes, particularly apples, cucumber, oranges, lemons, strawberry, and mint or borage, though nowadays most substitute mint. Ginger ale is a common substitute for lemonade. Pimm’s can also be mixed with Champagne (or a sparkling white wine), called a “Pimm’s Royal Cup”. Pimm’s Winter Cup is generally mixed with warm apple juice.

That’s what happens when you drink & bake. You end up with alcohol in your system and in the baked goods.

Mini cherry Pimm's pies.

I pretty much just pitted and sliced up some cherries. Some of which I left in halves, some I cut in quarters, and some I cut a bit smaller. I have pie crust frozen all the time, so since I had it previously defrosted in the fridge I rolled it out and used it for the base of the mini-tart shells. Meanwhile, I had the cherries macerating in a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, Pimm’s and a bit of cornstarch.

I spooned the mixture into the shells, then topped them with some hearts made from the leftover pie crust. I baked ’em and the rest is herstory. Get it? Her story? *ahem* Anyway…

These little pies and tarts are great to use up the remainders of pie crust dough! Just roll out whatever you have left to fill little tart shells and make mini-pies. Use the tiny leftover pieces from that to make shapes to put on top.

Mini cherry pies made with Pimm's liqueur.

For you, because I love you all, I will actually write up a recipe for this. Because it’s that good, and it’s worth it. But I did not follow one myself.

That’s just how I roll. Gangsta.

Mini cherry Pimm's pies.

MINI CHERRY PIMM’S PIES

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. cherries, pitted and chopped (leave some in halves for texture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (if using sour cherries, add full 1/4 cup, for sweet cherries you might want to taste it and see)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • around 1/4 cup Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • pie crust; enough for one 9-10″ pie

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Put cherries in a medium bowl and add sugar. Mix gently. Let sit for five minutes. Add lemon juice and Pimm’s, and again mix gently. Sprinkle cornstarch over the top and toss- again gently. Set aside.
  3. Roll out dough and fill your mini-pie shells or tart shells. Press and even it out, then fill with about 2-3 tablespoons filling; depending on the size of your shells. Also, depending on how many you have, you might have dough left over. I have four shells and between the bottoms and the hearts, I used most of it but had enough left for maybe two more.
  4. Cut out shapes for the top- any shapes will do. Circles, hearts, stars… or you can cut strips and make a lattice top. Place on top of filling. You can also skip this and just make more pies.
  5. Brush crust & tops with beaten egg. Place pies on a cookie sheet (line with parchment if it’s a good one!). Bake pies for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the tops are golden browned. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before even thinking about eating! Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Mini cherry Pimm's pies.

Yep. That’s all. Super easy.

And you can substitute almond or vanilla extract for the Pimm’s if you wish. Just use 1/2 teaspoon of it, and add about 1 tablespoon water to the cherries as well. That way it’s safe for folks of all ages to enjoy.

Mini cherry pies with Pimm's liqueur.

If you can’t find Pimm’s, try using a cherry brandy or a bourbon instead. The flavor won’t be the same, but if you use straight gin it might be too bracing. You could try a flavored gin, however, I don’t know how that would work.

Mini cherry pies with Pimm's No. 1 Cup.

Suggestions for use: Add chopped almonds to the filling before adding it to the shells.
Soundtrack: Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”
Sources & credits: Freiling mini pie shells; everythingkitchens.com, cookie sheet; Wilton, brioche tin; Sur La Table.
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