Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cherry Pie!

Well, it is official, my pie was delicious! Both my fam and my man really enjoyed it. I would like to start this post off by saying that if you make this pie completely from scratch it is super easy, but it is also pretty labor intensive. If you like to be in the kitchen it’s really fun to make. Don’t worry I will add some shortcuts if you’re in a time crunch, but I find that making the whole thing from scratch is really satisfying.

One way to save time is to use store bought pie crust. If you do have the time I suggest giving making your own dough a try. 

The Dough :
(Makes enough dough for one double, or two single-crust pies)

You will need:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
Cold Water

First fill a glass measuring cup with cold water and a couple of ice cubes. You want the water to be really cold. Set aside.In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, and salt.

Cut the sticks of butter into cubes.

Add the butter to your bowl and then get out your pastry blender (or a fork) and mix. Use the pastry blender to scoop and redistribute the mixture as needed so all parts are worked evenly. When all of the butter pieces are the size of peas — this won’t take long — stop.

Next add a ½ cup of the cold water (sans ice) to the mixture and combine. You can use a spoon or a spatula, but I do it all by hand. You’ll probably need to add more water to bring it together, but add it one tablespoon at a time. Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.

Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap each on in plastic and then put them in you refrigerator. Try to let it chill for at least an hour.

The Filling:
4 cups pitted fresh cherries (about 2 1/2 pounds unpitted)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 400°F

First you have to pit the cherries. This is by far the most labor intensive part. If this seems daunting or too time consuming you can substitute the fresh cherries with canned, but make sure you get the sour cherries that are not in any type of syrup. DO NOT get canned cherry pie filling. It’s yucky.

Stir together the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon juice, cinnamon, and almond extract gently together in a large bowl.

Roll out half of chilled dough on a floured work surface. Gently place it in the pie pan.

Spoon filling into pie crust!

Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling. Take a knife or pizza cutter and cut the dough into strips. Place five strips on the pie.

Fold back every other strip.

Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips as shown. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip.

Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip.. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip.

Continue this alternation to the edge of the pie then go back to the center and do the same for the other side of the pie.Cut off the extra dough from the strips and then crimp the edge decoratively. Brush the egg wash over the pie crust and then place it in the oven!

Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F. and bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool on a rack.

I'm very happy with the way this pie turned out. My dad has requested an apple pie so I hope to make one soon. I'm also going to try out a recipe for a healthier crust made with coconut oil/shortening instead of butter.