Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cherry Pie

Skill Level: Intermediate
Skills Attained: Fruit Pie
  • Pie Crust
  • 5 cups tart/sour/Bing cherries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca (or corn starch)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • Rolling Pin
  • 9" pie pan
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Mixing bowl
  • Knife
  • Spoon
A near and dear friend of mine let me pick some cherries from her cherry tree a few weeks ago. I had never actually picked cherries before, so it was a fun first! My goal was to pick enough to make a pie (It takes quite a while to pick 5 cups of small, tart cherries!). So, I'm sharing with you the cherry pie recipe I used. This would be a great dish to bring to any 4th of July party!

If you haven't seen my Pie Crust post, check it out. This post really gives you detailed instructions on making an excellent, flakey pastry for fruit pies; it even has a video tutorial for those of you that learn better than way. 

What should I know about cherries?

Don't be fooled by the type of cherry you'll need for a cherry pie. Use tart, sour, or Bing cherries; do NOT use sweet cherries (the edible kind that you eat on their own). The tart cherries will be sweetened by the sugar added to the pie filling. Sweet cherries just won't work the same way for pie. I'm not sure why but just trust me. I would hate for you to go through all the effort of making this pie just to be disappointed. 

I used tart cherries for this recipe. These do not have the deep red coloring and are quite small (marble-size). To create the appearance of a red cherry pie, you can add a few drops of red food coloring to the filling. It doesn't change the chemistry of the baking, nor does it add nutritional value, so I opted not to do that.

Before using the cherries, they must be pitted. Many people that pick a lot of cherries own a cherry pitter. Since I am a novice at cherry picking, I simply used my fingers to slide the seeds out of the cherries. It's a bit labor intensive but well worth the time for this scrumptious pastry. 

Cherry Pie Recipe

  1. Prepare the Pie Crust and chill in the refrigerator; set it on the counter about 15 minutes before  it's ready to use so that the pastry is more pliable. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  3. Combine the following ingredients (see amounts above): cherries, sugar, tapioca (or corn starch), water, lemon juice, and almond extract. (I used tapioca for this recipe, but in hindsight, I would have used cornstarch. I didn't care for the consistency of the filling using tapioca, but I'm sure it' s personal preference.) Let it rest on the counter while you prepare the pie crust.

  4. Roll out half of the pastry dough and place it in a 9" pie pan. 

  5. Pour the pie filling into the pie pan. 

  6. Cut 2 tablespoons of butter and dot the top of the pie filling with the butter. 
  7. Roll out the second half of the pastry dough and cover the top of the pie. Crimp the edges closed and cut slits into the top of the pie crust. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar on the top for a nice caramelized crust. (For more detailed instructions, visit Pie Crust.) Use aluminum foil (or pie crust covers if you have them) to cover the edges of the pie crust to prevent from burning. 

  8. Bake 30 minutes at 425 degrees. Place aluminum foil beneath the pie to catch the drippings. (I like to use aluminum foil rather than a cookie sheet for easier clean up.) Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees; remove the aluminum foil from the pie edge (but keep the aluminum foil underneath the pie) and bake for an additional 30 minutes. 

  9. Let the pie cool to room temperature before serving. 
If you enjoy making pies, check out my Apple Pie post as well!

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