Individual Bourbon-Cherry Pies

Bring out these babies to wrap classic American summertime festivities in a way that fireworks never could. With a bourbon soak and a flame-kissed meringue, each two-bite cup of pie perfectly complements red-white-and-blue traditions like a run through the sprinkler and golden corn on the cob. Enjoy a platter with family and friends tonight.

Yield: 12-24 individual pies , Prep time: 30 minutes , Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

1. Prep your cherries: wash them and remove their stems and pits.
2. Combine the cherries and bourbon in a small pot. Bring to medium-high heat and let cook until the cherries have become tender and the bourbon has reduced to a syrup-like consistency, approximately 30 minutes.
3. While the cherries are cooking, preheat the oven according to your pie dough recipe. Roll out your pie dough, cut to fit muffin tins or mini muffin tins, and press them into each muffin well. Pierce the bottom of all the rounds of dough with a fork so they do not bubble while baking.
4. Bake the pie crusts until they are golden brown and baked completely. Remove from the oven and let cool.
5. Next, whip together the cream of tartar and egg whites to medium peaks. As you whip, slowly pour the sugar into the eggs. Transfer to a plastic bag for piping.
6. Once the cherries have reduced and the crusts have cooled, remove the crusts from the tin and place on a cookie sheet. Assemble just before serving so the shells stay crispy: Spoon the cherries into the shells. Pipe the meringue over the cherries.
7. Then, using either a blow torch or your oven broiler, toast the tops of your meringue. Once they are crispy, garnish with a sprinkle of coarse sugar and serve right away.

Tips + Tricks

**The fastest way to pit a cherry is to place a few on your cutting board, rest your knife on its side on top of the cherries, and then with a fist...whack them. It is messy, for sure, but it is much quicker than using the handheld tools for pitting.
**If you prefer a more viscous pie filling, whisk together 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of bourbon and slowly stir the mixture into the reduced cherries.
**Spoon as much or as little of the bourbon sauce into the pie shells as you wish... But DO NOT throw any remaining juice away. Bottle it up for homemade cocktails at your home bar, or spoon it over ice cream as a delicious sauce.

THE SPREAD