To make the cherry pastry, combine the cherry, sugar and 1 tbs water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, for 1 min or until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins or until cherry is tender and mixture reduces by half. Set aside to cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl. Place in the fridge for 30 mins to chill.
Place the flour, butter, icing sugar, almond meal, cinnamon and 2 drops of food colouring in a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cherry puree and egg yolk and process until dough just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.
Reserve one-third of the pastry and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill. Divide the remaining pastry into 6 even portions. Roll out each portion on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick disc. Line six 8cm (base measurement) fluted tart tins with removable bases with pastry. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges. Place in the fridge for 15 mins to rest.
Meanwhile, place the cherry and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins or until the cherry begins to release its juice. Combine the cornflour and 2 tbs cold water in a small bowl. Add to the cherry mixture and cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in the almond essence. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line the pastry cases with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 8 mins. Remove the paper and weights or rice. Bake for 8 mins or until the pastry is light golden.
Spoon the cherry mixture into the pastry cases. Roll out the reserved pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 2mm-thick disc. Use an 8cm pastry cutter to cut 6 discs from the pastry. Use 2cm star and heart pastry cutters to cut out shapes from the centre of the discs. Arrange pastry discs over the pies. Lightly brush the pastry with egg white. Sprinkle with extra sugar.
Bake for 15 mins or until the pastry is light golden and the filling is heated through. Set aside for 5 mins to cool slightly. Serve the pies warm or at room temperature.