luckily, they are also quite easy to make, since the crust is simply store-bought puff pastry. of course, technically one could make one's own puff pastry, but really it's kind of too hot for that nonsense.
these are very similar to the ones in this month's bon appetit (see recipe here). however, i took the liberty of adding the zest of one lemon and a couple of tablespoons of finely diced crystallized ginger. i also used frozen cherries for the most part but added a few fresh cherries at the end of cooking the filling. next time i might try using a little less cornstarch, like a tablespoon instead of 1 1/2, because i felt like the texture was a little gummy. but when you use less cornstarch it will make the filling set up less, so they may be more messy. i think i would also use lemon juice to mix with the cornstarch instead of water, just to add a little more acidity and flavor.
i do think that the lemon and ginger were great additions, since they added a little brightness and spice. however, i'm sure that making them as the recipe is written would result in excellent pies as well. also, our grocery store didn't have all-butter puff pastry, so i used the prole pepperidge farm kind. luckily it still worked. it actually made more pies than the recipe states as well - bonus!
follow the basic recipe for the filling, adding the grated zest of one whole lemon and a couple of tablespoons of minced crystallized ginger when you add the cherries. i don't think you have to use the dried cherries, but i definitely think it's a good idea. they have a different texture and more intense flavor than the fresh or frozen ones. you could also use other dried fruit such as cranberries or blueberries for a different berry boost.
if you use the pepperidge farm puff pastry (it seems to be the only one available in many stores), let it thaw and then roll it out when your filling is cool - i rolled it on a large cutting board, which makes cleaning up easier. when you unwrap it, it is folded over a couple of times so when you unfold it there are three rectangle-y sections. i cut the pastry along the fold lines and then cut each of those in half so that instead of three long rectangles, there are six shorter ones. then follow the recipe and brush with egg (i used a whole egg with a little water because what are you going to do with just an egg yolk?) around the edges so it will seal more easily. if you don't have a pastry brush, you can do as i did and just dip your fingers in the egg and brush it like that.
then just dollop on some filling, fold one end over, and press the tines of a fork lightly around the edges to seal. then brush the egg wash over the top and sprinkle with some sugar. the recipe calls for fancy sugar, which would definitely be a little prettier and more sparkly, but i used regular-people sugar and it was totally fine.
i put them in the freezer to cool (because our fridge was too full - it wasn't out of some kind of ideological impulse - but it worked well) and waited until after they had chilled to cut the vents in the top. i think this made it easier to cut them, because otherwise the pastry is soft and it's hard to get good cuts. then just bake those puppies as the recipe suggests and bring them to a picnic!
our picnic sadly lacked a piñata, but we did have a bunch of pies, so i guess it evens out...