This cherry pie was the first pie I've ever made! I'm pretty sure I've helped make pie when I was a kid, but never a whole one by myself. In my adult life I don't have many opportunities to make pie because Kevin is not a fan of pie. He's got something against cooked fruit and flaky crusts or something. Because of this, pie isn't the only pastry he avoids. For my first time, I was pretty proud of myself though. I made an old fashioned strawberry pie for my dad for Father's Day, but that was the last time I made a fruit pie.
My aunt always makes cherry pie for the major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter). As a kid I wasn't a big fan, but now I tend to choose her cherry pie over the other desserts offered. This pie has a great sweet tart cherry flavor with a hint of cinnamon and a flaky crust.
This recipe uses a quart jar of tart cherries and their juices. My aunt and gram can them over the summer. If you don't have access to home-canned cherries (or fresh cherries), hopefully you'll be able to find a few jars in your grocery store (if you have access to a Trader Joe's they sell Dark Morello Cherries that should work). I don't know if frozen tart cherries would have enough juice after they are thawed (or if that product even exists). Whatever you do, do not use a can of cherry pie filling!
From my Aunt Ginny
Dough (makes 2 double crust pies):
4 cups flour
3/4 cup shortening (butter flavored Crisco)
dash of salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp vinegar
Filling (for 1 pie):
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
32 oz of tart red cherries with their juices reserved (not cherry pie filling in a can!)
Course Sugar (such as sanding sugar or raw sugar)
Making the Dough:
Combine flour, salt and sugar. Cut in shortening until consistency of small peas. Combine water, vinegar and egg. Mix into flour mixture and form a large ball. Divide into four equal sections (one for each crust) and flatten them each into disks. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling. You will need 2 disks for this recipe, the extra dough can be put into a freezer bag and frozen.
Making the Filling:
Before you make the filling, adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on it and heat the oven to 500.
- Whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and cherry juices until the flour is dissolved, then stir in the cherries.
Constructing the Pie (from Baking Illustrated):
- Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator (if it's been chilling for over an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable).
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. As you roll out the dough, if the dough is sticking to the surface below or to the rolling pin, add a few sprinkles of flour to prevent sticking. Alternatively, you could roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate by rolling the dough around a rolling pin and unrolling over the pan. Working around the circumfernce of the pan, ease the dough into the pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the pan bottom with the other hand. Leave the dough that overhangs the lip of the pie plate in place. Refrigerate the dough-lined plate until needed.
- Add the cherry filling to the dough-lined plate.
- Roll out the second piece of dough to a 12-inch circle; place it over the filling.
- Trim the edges of the top and bottom dough layers to 1/2 inch beyond the lip of the pan. Tuck this rim underneath itself so that the folded edge is flush with the pan lip. Flute the edge using your thumb and forefinger or press with fork tines to seal.
- Cut 8 slits in the top using a sharp knife. If the dough is very soft, place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Brush the top of the pie with heavy cream and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Baking the Pie (from Baking Illustrated):
- Lower the temperature to 425. Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake until the crust is set and begins to brown, about 25-30 minutes.
- Rotate the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 375, continue baking until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble, 25 to 30 minutes longer.
- Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.