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Mulled Cherry Pies

Warm spiced red wine filled with juicy sweet cherries makes for a wonderful winter twist on an american classic. The crust is buttery and flakey with just a smidgen of salt to offset the sweetness and the filling is absolutely delectable, you won't be able to stop eating it!

In the states you grow up seeing these perfect cherry pies in Diner display cases and they're so bright red and pretty. When your young these seem like the image of american perfection but as I, personally, grew older they just seemed more and more artificial and tasted like maraschino cherries and artificial.

I wanted to make a cherry pie that put those pies to shame. At first I was just going to make my version of a traditional cherry pie, but then I read online that cherries and black pepper go extremely well together. Weird, right? But it got me thinking how can I incorporate black pepper into this without it becoming savory. As I went to raid my fridge my oversized bottle of red wine almost fell off the door as I opened it. My annoyance (yes I was annoyed at the bottle for almost falling) suddenly turned into excitement. Mulled wine!

Mulled wine is something I love so much in the cold months. Beautiful red wine warmed with comforting spices, orange and a touch of sugar is sensational. I thought let me mull some wine with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, anise and vanilla like I always I do and add in some black peppercorn. Let me tell you, while making this I felt smart, while eating these pies I felt like I was a GENIUS. All the flavors compliment each other so well, the wine doesn't overpower the cherries, in fact it enhances their flavor beautifully. You won't be missing that bright red cherry pie, I promise you that after trying this one there will be no looking back.

In regards to the crust, this is the first time I have ever made pie crust. I am quite scared of pastries like this most of the time and I don't know why. This recipe was so easy and came together beautifully. When you're adding your water, soon as your dough starts coming together stop adding water because your dough is ready to be kneaded. Its better to add not enough water then too much because you can always add more if needed but you can't take some away.

However don't fret there are some quick fixes should something go wrong. If your crust is just a bit flakey and dry place your clean hands in the ice water to wet them then knead your dough. The water from your hands will hydrate the dough just the right amount. If it is really very dry, return it to your mixing bowl and resume adding the water 1 tbsp. at a time. Alternatively if your dough is too wet, don't panic! Flour your hands then knead the dough and continue this process until your dough is no longer sticky and there aren't anymore flour pockets! Easy peasy!


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