Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cherry Pie


I think the secret to a good pie crust is practice. Which is okay with me because practice means more pie. Who doesn't want more pie? Crazy people, that's who. 
Seriously though, I think the pie crust is what separates a good pie from a fabulous pie. Our Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe (Find it HERE), is the crust I use for everything. And I do mean everything! I've never used another pie crust because ours works like a hot dang. 
That being said, I decided to give another one a chance because I didn't have any lard in the house and couldn't make it to the store to pick any up. I decided to go with a strictly butter crust that only makes enough for 1 double crust. 
End result? Okay, our crust (HERE) is still my number one. Its flakiness just can't be beat. BUT this one is pretty darned good too. It made for a semi-flaky, definitely buttery flavored crust that complimented the cherries really well. I did find it a pinch tougher than our usual crust - although I may just be super biased towards my old favorite. Which crust do you prefer? Butter or lard?


Cherry Pie

Ingredients
Crust
2 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, chilled
~1/2 cup ice water

Filling
4 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup sugar
scant 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp butter

Topping
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Directions 
Preheat oven to 400. 
Prepare crust - In a blender or food processor, pulse together flour, brown sugar, salt, and chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (You can also cut in the butter using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives.) Using a fork, pulse in the ice water until dough just comes together. Place on floured work surface and divide dough in half.  NOTE - the less you handle the dough the better. The more you handle it the tougher it becomes. 


Roll out half the dough into a `10 inch circle. Place into a 9 inch pie pan and chill in fridge while you prepare filling. (Also chill the other half of the dough)


Make sure your cherries are pitted and halved. 


Place cherries in a bowl and add in the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract.


Toss gently to combine well. Pour into the crust in the pie pan. Dot the top with the butter. 


Roll out the second half of the dough to a ~10 inch circle. You can place the entire crust on top and simply cut a slit for steam to escape, or you can cut strips to place on top. Make sure to seal the edges of the pie crust around the pie and trim off any excess dough. 
Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg then sprinkle with the almonds and sugar. 


 Place pie on a cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes then turn the heat down to 375 and continues baking for another 30 or so minutes - until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. (I covered the edges of the pie with a pie shield after the first 15 minutes to prevent the crust edges from getting too dark.) 
Remove to wire rack to cool. Let pie sit for at least 3 hours to set up before serving. 


Now admire how pretty your pie looks. 


I mean..... it's soooooo beautiful, am I right?


Okay, that's enough of that. Let's get down to tasting. 


Did I take a million photos? Why yes, I did. Thanks for asking. 


Now we're getting to the good stuff. 


But, wait, what's pie without a little ice cream?


It just keeps getting better. 


This is the pie you want to make to impress your family at the next dinner. Cherry pie is a bit of a pain because of all that pitting you have to do but it is totally worth it. 


This is best eaten the day it is made, FYI. It is okay the next day but the crust is certainly better fresh! The butter crust is lovely but I think I may have to make this again with our Never Fail Crust just for comparison's sake. 

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