- 12 aluminum foil mini pie tins
- 2 sheets pie crust dough, thawed
- 1 lb frozen cherries, thawed
- 1 cup water
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp water
- 6 cherries, pitted and halved
- White edible paint and a fine paintbrush
Preheat oven to 400° and place pie tins on a rimmed baking sheet. Using a biscuit cutter, cut rounds of dough the diameter of the tins. Dock holes in the bottom with a fork and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over high heat, add cherries, water, star anise and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, about 7 minutes. Spoon some cherry juice into a small bowl with cornstarch and whisk to combine. Slowly stir cornstarch slurry into pan, stirring until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and stir to combine.
Fill each tin with cherry filling. Using a biscuit cutter, cut rounds of dough diameter of tins. Brush edges of dough with egg wash mixture and turn over to secure on tin edge. Repeat with remaining tins.
Using remaining dough, cut out small rounds that are big enough to wrap around each cherry half, then cut these in half to form half moons or “eye lids.” Brush tops of pies with egg wash.
Place a half cherry in center of each pie and gently press half moons of dough into place. Brush egg wash on eyelid and bake for 15 minutes. When cool, draw a white line under cherry eye and a tiny dot in center of each cherry.