Cherries soaked in rum are one of my favorite treats. I love to use them in homemade ice creams, use as a topping on ice cream, pour over warm pancakes, and have even thought about making them into a jam. Wouldn't that taste good? A rum-cherry jam? Maybe not kid friendly, but definitely adult friendly. The dark rum marinating fresh tart, ripe cherries...heavenly. Instead of making a cherry pie I wanted to kick it up a notch and make hand pies because I had in the back of my mind (for ages) on taking flaky hand pies and dipping them in milk chocolate. I got the idea (several times) when I would dip strawberries in chocolate. Why not cherries? Well, why not cherry hand pies? Cookies are done this way why not hand pies?
Well, I'm really glad I did, they were so tasty. The rum-soaked cherries, the flaky pie crust and the milk chocolate all paired really nice together. Plus they were super easy to make. If you're ever strapped for time you can easily make these with pre-made pie doughs.
chocolate dipped cherry-rum hand pies
2 cups of dark cherries, chopped & pitted (don’t chop too small)
¼ cup of good quality DARK rum
(Might need a pinch or two of white sugar in the filling)
1-2 TB cornstarch, sifted
6 pre made round pie crusts or make your own pie dough
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
¼ cup of half & half and a beaten egg for brushing the tops of the hand pies
Milk or dark chocolate chips for dipping the hand pies in
Cook notes: I don’t have exact measurements here as I did not write the recipe down. The only area you have to look out for is making cooking the filling over heat; you might need 1 or 2 TB of cornstarch to thicken it. Use 1 TB and see how the filling comes along as you heat it up. If it’s too thick add a bit of water or if it’s too thin add some more cornstarch –just watch it as you cook it. I tend to like my pie fillings very thick. Make sure to use a dark rum—they taste better and don’t have that strong alcoholic flavor. I like to sift my cornstarch as it avoids any lumps in the sauce/filling. I used dark cherries; I have not used red cherries—don’t know how they would work. Please taste test the filling after it’s cooked and see if it needs a pinch or two of sugar. Some people love their pie fillings sweet, I do not. But experiment as you go along!
For the marinade:
use a cherry pitter or by hand slice the cherries in half, place in a glass or ceramic bowl and drizzle with dark rum, toss, cover, then refrigerate overnight.
For the filling:
When you are ready to use the cherries, let them come to room temp and mix with a generous tablespoon or TB and ½) of cornstarch. Mix thoroughly. Put into a small saucepan and cook until you have your desired thickness. Take off heat and set aside.
For the pie crusts:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take your egg wash, place in a small dish and beat it well, set aside. Take your other egg wash: the half & half and egg and mix well in another dish, set aside. Use pre made pie crusts or make your own using the recipe I provided above. When you are ready, lay your pie crust on a well floured board, cut the circle in half. Take one half, place about 3-4 TB of the filling on one half, don’t spread the filling to the edges. Take your egg wash, and brush the edges of the pie crust—all edges. Then seal them up. Take the edges and fold them over about a ¼ of an inch all the way around; take a fork and crimp them down. This way you have a pie crust all the way around and it prevents any filling spillage. Now take your half & half and egg wash and brush the tops of the hand pies before baking. Also place a small slit or two on the top and middle of each hand pie to let the steam vent. Bake on parchment lined cooking sheets for about 20-30 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown.
Mine were done around the 30 minute mark.
Let them cool before dipping into melted chocolate. I also topped a couple of mine with fresh coconut right after they had been dipped in chocolate.