Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cherry Pie

I have been scared of making pies for a long time.  It's scary!  Crust is so hard to master, and making them cute is much harder.  Pies always sound so homey to me - like something that a true domestic goddess makes and then lets cool on the window sill.  After my bread turned out (I had serious problems with yeast until recently), I decided that pies would be the next hurdle to tackle.  And I'm glad I did.  Brett loves cherry pie, but I have always hated it because I hate the canned stuff.  It's disgusting.  So I told him that during cherry season I would try a fresh cherry pie, and that's exactly what I did.  Here it is just before going in the oven.  The lattice isn't perfect, but it worked.
The dough was ridiculously easy.  I just put the ingredients in the food processor and let it go basically.  And although I did dirty up quite a few of the dishes in my kitchen making this, the most labor intensive part was rolling out the dough, and that's only because it was really cold.  The final product was more than I could have hoped for.
It was beautiful!!!  I can't believe it turned out so well.  The bottom of the pie didn't even get soggy.  The crust was flaky and delicious, and the filling was 100 times better than the canned stuff.  When cherries are cheap (or if you grow your own, when you have more than you know what to do with) this is the way to go!  Trust me, you don't need to be scared.  It is way easier than it looks, and I will be making a lot more pies from now on!

Cherry Pie

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chilled unsalted butter
4-6 tablespoons ice water

Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse once or twice to combine.  Add in the butter and process until coarse crumbs form.  Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms a ball.  Divide into 2 equal portions and flatten into discs.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

1 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 lbs whole cherries, pitted and stemmed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 425.  In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, salt and 1 cup of the sugar.  In a large bowl, mix together the cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Mix the sugar mixture into the cherry mixture and set aside.  Roll one of the pie dough discs into an 11" circle and use to line a 9" pie pan.  Pour the cherry mixture into the lined pie pan.  Dot the cherry mixture with the butter cubes.  Roll the second pie dough disc out and using a pizza cutter cut into 1" pieces.  Create a lattice with the dough strips and crimp the edges together with the crust.  Brush the lattice pieces with milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.  Cover edges of the pie with foil to prevent over-browning.  Place pie on a baking sheet.  Bake on center rack for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 375.  Continue cooking until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.  Let cool completely before eating.  Enjoy!

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