Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sweet Cherry Pie

Ever since I got my kitchen unpacked, I can't stop thinking of things to bake/cook/create!  I LOVE my new kitchen.  I don't totally have it all organized yet (do we ever?) but it is spacious and beautiful and I just love it!  Since I happened to make several extra pie crusts when I made the Baked Yogurt Tart, pie has been on my mind.  And then I saw these beautiful fresh cherries at the grocery store...  Ah-ha!  I can honestly say this is the first cherry pie I have ever made.  Crazy, right?  I am not so excited about canned pie filling and can never find tart cherries here in Houston (such a shame).  But when I found these sweet cherries, I thought surely I can make a cherry pie with sweet cherries!  And I did!

I found numerous recipes online, and they were all very similar.  I based mine off of the one on Smitten Kitchen

The first task was to pit all of the cherries.  Thank goodness I have a cherry-pitter!  You can pit cherries without one, but heavens...  a cherry pitter is worth it!  Plus, it makes pitting the cherries much more fun.  Ka-pow, and the pit is out!  It took some time and my hands were a bit macabre looking at the end, but I had a lovely bowl of cherries to show for it all.  As they say, life is just a bowl of cherries...  (are those pitted cherries or un-pitted cherries...  I wonder...)

Mix the pitted cherries with sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, lemon juice and a little bit of salt.

Then get the crust/s ready.  Deb at Smitten Kitchen did a double crust but I decided to try a lattice-top crust.  Again, something I RARELY do, so why not?   Don't look too closely.  It isn't perfect but I think it is great!  I didn't take pictures at this point.  I was too busy trying to get my crust to work out (it was a terribly humid day here) and trying to get it all in the oven while both kids were napping (yes, both at the same time -a beautiful thing).  And it worked! 

Sweet Cherry Pie
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
chilled dough for a double crust pie - my favorite recipe is here
4 cups pitted fresh cherries (about 2 1/2 pounds un-pitted)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your cherries)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Coarse sugar, for decoration

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400F.
Gently stir together the pitted cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon and almond extract in a large bowl.  Roll out half of chilled dough on a floured work surface to 13-inch circle and place it in 9-inch pie pan, leaving an overhang of about 1/2 inch.  Spoon the cherry filling into the pie crust, leaving the majority of the liquid that has pooled in the bowl.  Dot the cherries with bits of cold butter. 

Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface and either (1) drape it over the filling or (2) slice it into ribbons with a knife or pizza wheel and gently weave these into a lattice atop the filling.  Trim the top crust to about 1 inch overhang.  Fold the top crust overhang over the bottom crust and press to seal.  Pinch the edge or decorate to your liking.  Brush the top of the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.  If you use a full top crust, cut some slits to form steam vents, and bake the pie in the oven at 400F for 25 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 350F and continue to bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden.  Cool completely on a rack.  
Printable Recipe


I always make a snail with the extra bits of crust when I bake a pie.  A snail can contain anything, but growing up it generally included brown sugar and/or cinnamon sugar, and some raisins.  This time I brushed the crust with butter, and sprinkled it with vanilla sugar, chopped dried figs, dark chocolate chips and almonds.  I rolled it into a log, brushed the top with the egg wash and put it in the oven with the pie.  Delish!  Again, no picture but you'll have to take my word (and the word of my family) that it was a great combination!  What do you do with your extra crust bits?? 

1 comment:

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