I had planned on making a pie for father's day using the local sour cherries I picked by hand (I have the bumps and bruises to prove it!), but I ran out of time. We ate the sweet cherries I picked instead, straight out of hand, for dessert that
day, and they were delicious.
Making pie is really easy - but it does help if you have an adorable 10 year old
willing to pit the cherries - let me tell you, the things you will talk about
will make you laugh!
You can pit your cherries and prepare your filling, then make your crust, letting
both rest in the fridge for about an hour or so. After resting, roll out your
crusts, fill the pie, bake it in the oven and enjoy the wonderful smell. Resist
the urge to cut into the pie while it is still piping hot, the filling definitely needs to cool a bit.
We also made some Philadelphia-style vanilla ice cream to go alongside, because while pie is really good, pie a la mode is even gooder (10 year old speak)! I under-sweeten this pie, because it is served with the ice cream. You may want to increase the sugar if you are not a fan of sour cherries. Of course, you could make your pie with sweet cherries instead; just take care not to use too much sugar.
Sour Cherry Pie
1 recipe of Pie Crust, well chilled (recipe can be found in my Apple Hand Pies
5 cups of sour cherries, pitted
½ - ¾ cup raw sugar, to taste
½ teaspoon almond extract
Juice from 1 organic lemon
3 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
Raw sugar, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugar, almond extract, lemon juice and corn
starch, for filling. Toss gently until well combined. Cover and place in refrigerator.
Roll out one disk of dough for bottom pie crust on a lightly floured surface. You can use either a 9 inch or 10 inch pie pan. Trim edges to overhang pie pan by 1”.
Place in refrigerator while you roll out top crust, to same size as bottom crust.
Take crust and filling from refrigerator, place filling in pie pan, dot with butter
and cover with top crust. Trim the edges, crimping decoratively to seal. Brush the crust with beaten egg, and then sprinkle with sugar. Cut several slits for steam to escape into top crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While pie is resting in refrigerator, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake pie on middle rack with a baking sheet on rack below to catch any pie drippings. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees, and continue to bake for 35 – 45 minutes longer or until crust is nicely browned and the filling is thick and bubbly.
Allow to cool completely (or as long as humanly possible) before serving.
For pie a la mode, here is an easy recipe:
Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour 1 cup of cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining cup of cream and cup of milk. Add the vanilla extract.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Makes about 1 quart.