I was looking for a way to use a can of cherry pie filling I had in my pantry and I didn’t want to make a traditional pie so I decided to make these instead. I love these because you satisfy your cherry pie craving with a tasty little morsel. These squares are easy to make and impressive looking. Your friends will think you are an accomplished baker when you make these.
So let’s talk cherry pie squares…
Lesson Learned 1: You need less batter on top than you think: Initially I only used 1 1/2 cups of batter for the bottom crust of he squares. That left me with quite a bit of batter for the top. I found in making this that a little batter goes a long way. It is better to dot the top with small dollops of batter far enough away from each other so they spread out but not necessarily touch. The pictures below show the amount of batter I put on top and my final product. Next time I make these I will use smaller amounts of dough to dot the top and probably set aside 1 3/4 cups for the bottom crust. That way I will have a little more dough for the crust and the small dollops will still be more than enough for the top.
Lesson Learned 2 – A little bit of baking spray goes a long way: The best way to insure that the squares don’t stick to the pan is to either spray the pan with baking spray or line it with parchment paper. This time I chose to use baking spray. Don’t overdo spraying the bottom of your pan with the spray. You don’t want to make the crust soggy. Just spray lightly. Next time I make these I am going to line the pan with parchment paper instead of spraying the bottom. I tend to prefer that method.
Lesson Learned 3 – The batter is very sticky: When spooning the crust batter into your baking dish you might want to take large spoonfuls and put them in various parts rather than taking the full amount and just putting it in the middle. You will need to pat the batter down with your hands to cover the entire bottom of the baking dish. I suggest spraying your hands with baking spray. It makes this job much less difficult. After I covered the entire bottom I smoothed the batter with an icing knife.
Lesson Learned 4 – Leave about an inch around edges when adding the cherry pie filling: The cherry pie filling will run during the baking process. Leaving some space around the edges will allow the batter to rise around the edges making it easier to remove the squares when the time comes.
Lesson Learned 5 – If you can use heavy cream when making the glaze: I found that if you use heavy cream in a glaze the consistency and flavor are much better. Don’t go out and buy heavy cream just for the glaze if you don’t already have it. But if you do I think you’ll find you’ll prefer glazes made with heavy cream to those that are not.
After I made these I gave some to my neighbors. Everyone of them asked for the recipe. I think you will enjoy these a lot! Try them and let me know what you think.
CHERRY PIE SQUARES…
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 can cherry pie filling, 21 ounces
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2-4 Tbs. of heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until completely combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Take 1 3/4 cup of the batter and smooth over the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon the cherry pie filling over the batter, leaving about an inch of batter around all the edges. Dollop the remaining batter on top of the pie filling. Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool completely. Mix all of the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the top. Cut and serve.