Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tart Cherry Pie

My mom once brought cherry pie to a church post-Thanksgiving-service pies-only potluck. If there was a competition, she would have won because (well, it was the best) the pastor loved that pie so much he referenced it in a sermon. No that didn't happen, but he did freaking love it. I'm pretty sure my mom is going straight to heaven.
It's the pie crust that is perfect. Most people buy pie crusts at the grocer because they think it's too much work. I admit to having difficulty with pastry crust in the past. Mom uses Martha's easy pie crust recipe, except that she uses the food processor instead of a pastry blender. The real key to good pie crust (as I've very recently discovered) is cold cold cold (cold water, cold butter, cold, put it back in the fridge if you have to), do not overwork the flour when you're kneading and use plenty of flour only when you're rolling out the dough. Check out this blog if you need more explicit instructions.
This pie was made with fresh cherries--not the canned kind. Although, it's important to note that the famed, getting-into-heaven-early pie was made with canned, so people will still love it even if it's not completely homemade. The McKains gave my sister the cherries a while back for consulting with them on how to remodel their house (apparently all she told them was that what they wanted would be expensive).
The recipe for the filling of this pie is from Better Homes and Gardens. To be concise, I'm printing it below.
Cherry Pie Filling and Topping:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca (buy the small ones, the big ones take longer to dissolve)
5 cups tart red cherries (not Bing and not Renier)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
tablespoons butter
6 ounces slivered almonds

Place cherries, sugar and tapioca in a bowl, add almond extract and stir until cherries are coated. Let set for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture forms a syrup, stirring occasionally. Make your pie crust in the meantime. Transfer cherry mixture to a crust lined pie-serving dish thing (what are those called?).

For filling, in a small bowl stir together flour and brown sugar. Add butter sliced into tablespoons and cut into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add slivered almonds and stir. Sprinkle topping onto pie. Cover pie with aluminum foil and bake on 375 for 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 25 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been cooking with tart cherries for the past six months. They are a great addition to any of the recipes I have used them. They add a good zing to the taste. I recently discovered a free tart cherry book (with tart cherry recipes). It is a good book and best of all it is free. It is called Tart Cherry Health Report. Here is a link if you are interested: