By Richard Thomas
Do childhood memories of a Hostess cherry pie leave you with a delightful craving? You can turn that into a delightfully adult treat by making a bourbonized version in your own kitchen.
For the crust:
1 cup Crisco (or other shortening)
1 tsp salt
1 tbls sugar
Mix two cups of the flour together with the Crisco, salt, and sugar until it forms into small clumps. Separately mix 1/2 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of water, combining the two into a slurry. Pour the two together and mix thoroughly in a bowl, turning the combination into a large dough ball. Put the dough into the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
For the filling:
4 cups of frozen cherries
1 1/2 cups of table sugar
3 tbs of corn starch
2 tsp of vanilla extract
3 tbs of bourbon whiskey
Cut the orange in half, squeeze the juice from the orange, and strip the zest off the skin of one half of the orange with a grater. Pour the juice in a medium saucepan and combine with all the other ingredients, including the orange zest. Bring the contents to a simmer without boiling, and simmer for five minutes. Take he saucepan off the stove and set aside.
Now take the dough out of the refrigerator, spread some flour out on the counter to form a no-stick surface, and roll/spread the dough out into a sheet roughly 1/16-inch thick. Cut three-inch rounds out of the dough using a cookie-cutter or the bottom of a can or jar. Roll the remainder of the dough back up, spread it out again into a new, smaller sheet, and keep on cutting rounds and recycling dough until you have almost no dough left. Place the rounds on a greased cookie sheet as you go.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Use one round as a bottom, spoon out the filling from the saucepan into the center, and place another round on top. Curl up the sides to form a seal around the hand-pie. Crimp the edges of the pie with the prongs of a fork, and cut a ventilation X into the top with a knife. Repeat until you have used up all your materials.
Put the pies in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.