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Tiny Cherry and Blueberry Star Pies in Jars

The classic summer flavors of cherry and blueberry pies are staples of 4th of July celebrations. This year, why not take your pie to go? These portable pies in jars are just right for 4th of July picnics, or outdoor celebrations.

And just because they’re small, doesn’t mean they don’t deliver on big fruit pie flavor. The blueberry version is tangy and bright, with robust (not mushy!) blueberries. The cherry version is vibrant, and full of rich cherry flavor.

I’ve provided recipes for both cherry and blueberry here, but please feel free to pick your favorite and run with it. My secret ingredient for summer fruit pies is ground instant tapioca. As a thickener it works wonders, and I find it far superior to chalky cornstarch.

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  • Prepare the Dough 1 of 4
    Prepare the Dough
  • Cherry Star Pie 2 of 4
    Cherry Star Pie
  • Cherry and Blueberry Star Pies 3 of 4
    Cherry and Blueberry Star Pies
  • Blueberry Star Pie 4 of 4
    Blueberry Star Pie

Blueberry and Cherry Pies in a Jar
makes eight to ten 4 oz. pies

for the crust
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup ice water

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Quickly chop up the butter, and pulse it into flour mixture, 5 or 6 times. Drizzle in ice water, pulsing 2 or 3 times, just until the dough is combined.

Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Divide into 2, flatten dough into discs, and wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least a half-hour in the refrigerator. Meanwhile prepare the fillings.

for the blueberry filling
makes four to five 4 oz. pies

3 cups blueberries
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for top of pie
big pinch salt
1 tablespoon ground instant tapioca (I use my coffee grinder)

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups blueberries, zest and juice over medium-high heat. Stir frequently, and allow the sauce to reduce a bit, until it coats the back of a spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and combine in a medium bowl with the fresh berries, sugar, salt, and tapioca. Set aside while you prepare the crust.

for the cherry filling
makes four to five 4 oz. pies

3 cups cherries, pitted and halved
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for top of pie
big pinch salt
1 tablespoon ground tapioca

In a medium bowl, toss all of the ingredients together. Set aside while you prepare the crust.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well. Liberally butter 8 – 10 4 oz. glass canning jars.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough discs. For the bottom crusts, cut out a 5″ square, and press into the jar. For the tops, use a jar to press out a circle. Use the scraps to cut out the stars with a tiny star cookie cutter. Spoon in 4 tablespoons or so of filling, press top crust into place, and crimp edges with a fork or your fingers. Add the star, and make 4 very small incisions in the top of the dough to vent. Sprinkle the top of each pie with 1/2 teaspoon or so of sugar.

Place prepared pies onto heated cookie sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the cookie sheet, turn the heat down to 350 degrees, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes, until crust is light golden and filling is bubbling vigorously.

Allow pies to cool completely and serve, or keep covered with a lid for up to three days.

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