These mini Montmorency tart cherry galettes are filled with sour cherries and orange flavor to create beautiful rustic hand pies that are incredibly simple to make.
I don’t think I’ve ever formally “celebrated” Pi Day (3/14) before on this site. Every year the day comes, my Instagram feed is flooded with mouthwatering pie recipes and I scroll through wishing I had the foresight to participate in one of the few food “holidays” I can support.
This year, I got my stuff together and these mini tart cherry galettes are how I’m celebrating.
*This post is sponsored by The Cherry Marketing Institute.
Cherry pie has always been my favorite of all pies. And I really love pie so that’s saying something. I’m a pie > cake any day kind of person.
There’s not much that can top a traditional cherry pie for me, except these rustic galettes might’ve done just that.
Three words: Montmorency tart cherries.
Montmorency tart cherries aren’t the traditional cherry. They’ve got a distinctive sweet/sour taste to them and a whole list of potential health benefits including aiding with inflammation, exercise recovery and sleep.
Their potential nutritional benefits are just the icing on the cake (or should I say pie?) for me though. What wins me over more than anything is their taste.
I adore sour things (I would happily suck on lemons as a kid for a snack) and tart cherries have just enough of that sour bite to them to simultaneously bring on that puckering sensation in your mouth while also imparting just enough sweetness.
The combination of the buttery, flaky rustic crust and the sweet/sour tart cherries with the bright orange zest and maple syrup in these mini tart cherry galettes will make your mouth happy if you crave a mixture of flavors in your dessert.
What is a Galette?
A galette is basically a rustic pie. The crust is still buttery and flaky like a traditional pie but it’s not meticulously crimped around a pie pan. Instead, it’s rolled out, filled and then folded up onto itself.
The more haphazardly it’s done, the more “authentic” it looks.
Galettes are my kinda pie. I’m no artist (I literally failed 5th grade art class – it still traumatizes me when I think about the self-portraits we had to draw and how horrific mine turned out) so any pie that scoffs at the idea of perfect edges and fancy decorative adornments is my jam.
It’s why you’ll find zero pie recipes on this site but a strawberry almond galette, a mini kale and cherry galette, a mushroom beet and blue cheese galette and while not technically a galette, these mini ham cheese and spinach breakfast pies are close enough that they deserve a call out too.
Yes, galettes can be savory or sweet, just like pie!
How Do You Make Mini Tart Cherry Galettes?
Don’t let the detailed directions fool you, this cherry galette recipe is quite simple.
To make these sour cherry galettes (sour cherries are another name you might see for tart cherries) you start with the crust.
Just like any pie crust, the trick to a buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth crust is cold butter and cold water.
I grated the cold (it was actually straight from the freezer) butter with a box grater for this recipe and I absolutely love how easy that method makes it to cut the butter into the flour mixture. I highly suggest trying this over dicing the butter. It requires less time working the butter into the flour with your fingers which means the butter stays colder and doesn’t melt therefore creating better pockets of butter which is what gives you that flaky crust.
While this recipe makes 4 mini tart cherry galettes, you could easily make 1 large cherry galette if you prefer.
The filling is as simple as can be. All you need are some drained canned Montmorency tart cherries (you can also used thawed frozen tart cherries if you prefer), orange zest, vanilla extract, a touch of maple syrup and cornstarch to help thicken the filling.
If you watch The Great British Baking Show, you know soggy bottoms are your nemesis. The trick to keeping the bottoms of these little tart cherry hand pies browned, crispy and not soggy is straining the filling as best you can when spooning it onto the crust. There will be a good bit of juice let off by the tart cherries in the filling bowl, just take care to use a slotted spoon and drain well as you fill the galettes.
Can I use honey instead of maple syrup?
Yes, honey is a great substitute for maple syrup in these rustic tart cherry galettes. I just like deep flavor of maple syrup against the bright sour cherries and orange zest.
Can I use gluten-free flour for the crust?
I have not tried this galette crust using gluten-free flour but you can definitely try using your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. I’ve had great luck with this flour as a 1:1 substitutions in many recipes.
Whether you decide to make this tart cherry galette recipe or something else, I really hope you join along in the Pi Day celebrations this year.
Don’t be like me in past years and wish you had planned ahead while jealously scrolling through everyone else’s delicious pie concoctions!
Want to see more recipes like these mini tart cherry galettes using tart cherries?
For the crust
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
- 1/3-1/2 cup cold water
- 1 egg white
For the filling
- 2 - 15 ounce cans Montmorency tart cherries packed in water, drained
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- zest from 1 medium orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot flour)
- pinch of salt
For the crust:
- Combine the flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a large bowl, whisk to combine.
- Grate the butter then add to the bowl with the flour. Incorporate the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers until a fine crumb texture.
- Slowly add the water until the mixture just holds together. Form the dough into a disc shape and cover with plastic wrap.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
For the filling:
- Place the drained Montmorency tart cherries in a large bowl.
- Add the maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla, cornstarch and salt and toss to combine. Set aside.
To assemble the pies:
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Divide chilled dough into 4 even sections.
- Place a piece of parchment on the countertop and lightly flour.
- Roll a section of the dough out into a circle shape on the parchment.
- Place the parchment paper with the rolled out crust onto a baking sheet.
- Place 1/4 of the filling in the middle of the pie crust, leaving as much excess liquid as possible in the bowl.
- Carefully fold up the sides of the crust and overlap every 1-2", pinching the crust together so that it stays folded.
- Repeat with remaining 3 sections of dough.
- Lightly beat the egg white and brush all over the pie crust.
- Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of the crust.
- Place baking sheet in the oven and immediately lower to 425°F.
- Bake for 7 minutes, turn the pan, lower the heat to 400°F and bake for another 15-17 minutes until entire crust is golden brown.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Drizzle with additional maple syrup and orange zest before serving if desired.