Sweetheart Cherry Pies

Cherry Pie Hearts for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that have become a bit too commercialized I think. I like to keep this holiday simple… so I helped my son make and mail valentine’s cards & bake something special. (UPDATE: Sweetheart chocolate chip cookies with love messages for this year!)

When I checked out the Kitchen Play February menu, I knew exactly which recipe I would tackle. This month’s sponser is Cherry Marketing Institute, and Julie from The Little Kitchen had a wonderful idea with her cherry mini pockets. I wanted to take her idea and change it up a bit to make a sweet heart shaped pocket for the sweethearts in my life.

Pie Dough Heart Cut Out
Use your favorite pie dough. This is the perfect time to defrost the extra you have in your freezer after the holidays! Or, buy some pre-made pie dough. I tried out the Trader Joe’s pie dough and found it to be light, flaky, nicely packaged between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.

Update: I have been asked where I got my heart-shaped cookie cutter; it’s actually an egg mold! I have used it for so many things. It’s non-stick, very versatile and is a nice size. You can buy it directly from Amazon using the following link.

Chopping Cherries
Pit and chop about a handful of fresh sweet cherries. I bought a package of 16oz and used less than half of that to fill 4 heart pies (1 sheet of pie dough). Sprinkle and toss the cherries with about 1 TBSP of sugar.

Filling Cherry Heart Pies
Fill with Ricotta Cheese, and the chopped cherries.

Single Heart Valentine Pie
Serve for breakfast, dessert, or anytime in between. This would be cute for a little girl’s tea party, or for a special brunch as well!

Bite of Cherry Pie

Recipe: Sweetheart Cherry Pies

Summary: Mini Pastries for Valentines Day

Ingredients

  • pie dough
  • fresh cherries, chopped
  • ricotta cheese
  • sprinkle of sugar
  • 1 TBSP butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roll out your pie dough (I like to do this between 2 sheets of plastic wrap). Cut out shapes with cookie cutter.
  3. Sprinkle and stir the sugar with the chopped cherries in a bowl.
  4. Lay out your heart cut outs on the baking sheet. Spoon on some fresh ricotta cheese, then spoon on the cherries. Lay down the top dough, seal to press with a fork.
  5. Brush the top with melted butter.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until mini hearts are golden brown. The baking time will largely depend on the thickness of your pastry dough and your oven. Just keep close watch.
  7. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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83 thoughts on “Sweetheart Cherry Pies

  1. Simply lovely! I wish we could get fresh or even frozen cherries here (Central America), but all they have all those awful canned ones. Cherry pie is my all-time favorite and I would make these for sure if I could!

    Where did you get that fun heart shaped cookie cutter?! Love it!

    • You could use dried cherries Marillyn, I would soak them in some hot water first to plump them up. I will try to locate the cutter on amazon and post it in my gift ideas tab… I love this cutter, I use it for pancakes, rice crispie treats, and french toast cutting as well.

    • Hi Candy, I haven’t tried to do this, but I would imagine it to be possible. If you bake them then freeze, I’d try to toast them? If you freeze before baking, you would have to bake them in them in the oven after letting it sit out for a short time. I really can’t say for sure until I give it a try though. Good luck and thanks for visiting!

  2. This looks amazing – I do have a question as I’m very picky…
    What flavor aspect does the ricotta cheese add. Could you do this with Raspberries or Strawberries?
    I’m going to try this!
    Very good for portion control!

    • I haven’t tried them with other fruit but I think they would be great! Add something sweet like toss the berries in honey or sugar to your liking. Also, the cheese adds texture more than flavor I think. It would probably be just as good with Marscapone. If it isn’t something you would think to be your taste then omit it.. but you might try some with or some without. Thanks for visiting my site, Kelli!

    • Hi Conda, So true… I have large cookie cutters in bell shapes, star, stocking, santa. I might suggest a few sprinkles on top or icing after they come out of the oven to make them even more cheerful. Great idea!

  3. Did you eat them cold by chance? Am thinking of these for an outdoor party therefore they would no longer be warm when served.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Scarlet, sorry but I could’t tell you for sure… they just didn’t last very long in our house! I would highly suggest testing them out first, just make 1 or 2 as a test run to see how you like them when they have cooled down. I think they will be fine, but I would be a little worried about the bottoms becoming soft because of the cheese. Have a nice party!

    • Hi Maria, I have seen many people pinning and commenting about changing the fruit or cheese, so I think its a popular idea. Use the filling you prefer, I hope you enjoy them! -Sarah

  4. I tried these earlier today but since I couldn’t find fresh cherries I used fresh strawberries and frozen cherries. The strawberries didn’t stand up to the cherries so next time I’ll wait for fresh cherries or maybe just use a frozen mixed bag of berries. I liked the texture of the ricotta but I think next time I’ll try creamcheese or marscapone. I also used a heart shape cookie cuter and they turned out looking so adorable. Great idea, thanks for the recipe Sarah!

    • Thank you for the feedback Christiane! I love the idea of mixed berries and the variations in cheese as well, thanks for sharing.

  5. I’m actually making these tonight for my husband’s birthday. I’m a novice baker and wanted to get your opinion on pre-making these. I wanted to construct all the pies this afternoon (so have them completely made and ready to bake) and then bake them later this evening. Do you think that would be okay? I’m just worried about them getting soggy…or if I do go ahead and bake them this afternoon, do you think I could reheat them? I would appreciate your help!!

    • Hi Sarah, I would probably bake them ahead of time and then rewarm them in the oven later in the evening. Happy Birthday to your husband!

    • Hi Christina, In the post I wrote “Pit and chop about a handful of fresh sweet cherries. I bought a package of 16oz, used less than half of that to fill 4 heart pies (1 sheet of pie dough). Sprinkle and toss the cherries with about 1 TBSP of sugar.” So, about 4 if you use the heart pancake/egg mold.

    • Based on her narrative + the ingredients as she bought them {2 sheets of pie crust, 16oz of cherries} this would make 8 pies using a heart shaped egg mold!

  6. I love these! I made some today similar…I made a leaf and filled it with apple pie filling. They were wonderful! I am going to make more for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Someone mentioned portion control and that is a great thought. You know exactly how many to make so that everyone has a pie.

  7. Thank you for sharing these sweet treats! Do you think you could use cranberries for a festive Christmas brunch idea? I’m not a baker however – would you have to cook the cranberries first with sugar?

    • hi Jenn, sounds amazing! I found a recipe by pioneer woman (great website by the way) and she has a Nantucket Cranberry Pie recipe that uses cranberries and chopped pecans. Yum! It requires more sugar because of the tartness of the cranberries, and since my personal pies don’t require as much baking time as a regular pie, yes I would recommend cooking them in a pot on the stove top to soften them. Taste and add sugar to your liking. I love the idea of chopped pecans for this holiday version. Enjoy!

  8. I think I’m going to try these this week!!! My hubby is allergic to ricotta so i’ll be using cream cheese…do you know how much to use? Great site!!

    • Hi Rebekah, I actually don’t know because I have not tried the cream cheese with these pies… but if I were to do it I would just spread a little onto each heart enough to cover the bottom. Also, be careful to soften the cream cheese to room temp making it is easier to spread so that you don’t tear the pie dough. I think I’m going to have to try these again with the strawberries and cream cheese that so many people are talking about! I hope you enjoy them!

    • Ok, I made these this afternoon and they were delicious! I just spread a little whipped cream cheese, gave a generous sprinkle of sugar on top the cream cheese, then topped with very finely chopped strawberries. The one thing I noticed with these, as opposed to the cherries, the strawberries give off more juice if you wait to long to press on the tops. So work quick, enjoy!

    • Hi Sarah, Iv’e only tried with a combination of cheese and fruit, but I think you can really use any type of pie filling you prefer. A simple apple pie filling might good, or maybe even home made chunky sweetened applesauce? The possibilities are endless, just be careful not to make it too dry. Thanks for visiting!

  9. These are absolutely adorable. I’m curious, I have seen lots of questions regarding the change of filling but mostly just changing the fruit or the cheese. Do you think these would work if you filled them with a more pudding based filling? I am considering making little footballs filled with chocolate pudding for the upcoming superbowl (maybe even making vents to look like laces) and I wondered if you had any recommendations about changing the cooking time or temperature. Thanks for sharing such an awesome idea with the world!

    • Ali, such a “super” idea… I love it! I actually want to try to make those and let you know how they come out. Yes, I think pudding would definitely work. I will send you an email if I do!

  10. These sound wonderful! And I love all the ideas people sent you. I have to try this. I am not any good at making pies but these look do-able!

  11. For the ricotta-wary, a few thoughts. Cream cheese is good as is mascarpone, but if the flavor and/or texture of ricotta are turn-offs for you, my suggestions are thus: 1. blend the ricotta with an electric mixer, it will smooth and become creamy in texture; 2. Add whatever you prefer to the ricotta, lemon zest, vanilla, powdered sugar, various spices, my thoughts for this upcoming vday was to use orange zest in blended ricotta and raspberries. I’ll certainly fill you in on the results, but just thought I’d share those tips regarding the ricotta.

    • I love raspberries with lemon zest, I’m sure orange zest will be excellent as well. Thanks for the suggestions Jim! I recently made these with 2 different chocolate pudding/filling recipes and they did not come out well. I think the fruit and cheese variations are the most reliable. Also wanted to add, drizzle of honey as an alternative to sugar is also wonderful, you could even stir it in with the cheese.

  12. These look so fun and tasty!! My daughter saw them too and thought we should try it with strawberries–I love how it seems so variation-friendly! I’m going to share this on my PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page!!

    • Hi Carla, I love your blog… great resource for activities even if you are not a homeschooling mom. For the pies, try various fruits, and sweeteners (sugar/honey), zest, and cheeses. I tried the chocolate pudding idea and that didn’t work quite as well. I’m still working on a variation for that type of pie. Thanks for visiting!

  13. These look amazing! I really want to try these out for my girls Valentines party. Do you know if these will still taste good cold? I wish I could serve them warm but by the time they would get to school, they will no longer be warm.

    - Thanks!

    • Yes Nicole, I think they are tasty even if not warm. I have made them in the early afternoon and left them on the counter at room temp, then we had them after dinner that day and they were awesome. Hope that helps with your planning!

  14. I made these they were delicious. I did make a couple of changes. Instead of ricotta cheese, I used mascarpone cheese and added a little bit of vanilla to it. Instead of using flour when rolling out the pie crust, I rolled it in sugar. They turned out so well. Will definitely make them again.

    • Laura, rolling out with sugar is a great idea, sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Hi Elena, Just sent you an email. Someone else must have submitted it to your contest, but yes it is my photo taken from this blog post. So long as there is a link back with credit to cakestudent, it would be fine. The contest sounds exciting! Thank you for letting me know. -Sarah

  15. Hi sarah, Just wanted to let you know that I’ve baked these lovely pies yesterday for my sister (as a little pick-me-up after a long and trying week), and that they were a huge success.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  16. I made these with strawberries with honey & tofutti cream cheese for a dairy free version my husband could handle.. Stilly tasty

  17. I usually make the version I’ve seen in a recipe in southern living with cream cheese (with variations of other berries as well) quite regularly, and thought the ricotta could put a spin on something that my family sees so often. However, I really didn’t enjoy it as much as the cream cheese, I just feel that the ricotta isn’t as tasty with the pie crust as cream cheese. ^.^

    • Thanks for sharing Shahir, I think the cheese choice is definitely a matter of personal preference.

  18. That looks so amazing and yummy! I am gonna try this with cottage cheese! I hope it will be yummy! Thank u a lot for sharing this awesome recipe!

    • Hi Heather, I make them fresh the day I serve them. I believe we ate them at room temperature so I can’t vouch how they would be cold (as in refrigerated cold). But I believe hot would be amazing, just like any pie. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Hi Jasmine, I haven’t tried but I can’t imagine why not. I might rinse the blueberries first to help thaw them a bit before baking.

  19. Just made these with my clients in the Day Habilitation for a Valentine treat that was not too sweet. They enjoyed making them and when it was time to eat them, well the vote was unanimous…DELICIOUS! We put strawberries and blueberries in them. Thanks for the great inspiration.

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