Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sweet Cherry Pie

I bought a bag of sweet cherries the other day at Pavilions for $2.99! Normally it would've cost almost $10. I love sweet cherries and to buy them at such a good price makes me feel like the king of the world! 

There's all kinds of information on the web about the benefits of eating dark, sweet cherries - here's just one link of many:Click here to see why you should be eating cherries!

Bring them home, give them a wash and put them in a bowl for noshing. OR make a pie.......!  Come on! you can do this. I'm telling you, there is nothing better than a home made cherry pie. 

Making a cherry pie truly is a labor of love. There's nothing difficult about it, but it is time consuming so allow yourself a day to enjoy the process.

Here's how to do it~

Ingredients for the Crust:
2 1/2 C all-purpose four (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 C (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 to 1/2 C ice water

Directions for the crust:
1.  In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Pulse a few times to blend. Add the butter pieces; pulse until the mixture is like coarse meal, with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining. 

2. Sprinkle with 1/4 C ice water, then pulse briefly until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. If necessary, add up to another 1/4 C ice water, one TBL at a time  - Do not overmix!). (If you are wondering what is wrong with overmixing, simply imagine the difference between light and flaky vs. tough and leather-like).

3. Divide dough in half, and turn onto two large pieces of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over dough and form into two disks, 3/4 inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or up to 3 days. (Dough may also be frozen up to 3 months - thaw before using).

4. On a floured surface, roll one disk to a 14 inch round. Wrap dough around a rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch pie tin. Gently unroll the pin and fit the dough into the bottom and sides of the tin without stretching or tearing the dough. Using kitchen shears, trim the dough to a 1-inch overhang all around; refrigerate until ready to use.

Ingredients for the pie:
2 lbs Bing Cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 TBL cornstarch
2 TBL fresh lemon juice
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 TBL water for egg wash
1 TBL sugar for sprinkling

Directions for the pie:
1. Preheat oven to 400 with rack in the lowest position. 

2. In a large bowl, combine the cherries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; toss until the cherries are well coated. Pour into prepared bottom crust.

Using the cherry pitter. It misses some, and juice gets everywhere....but it's FUN!

I used kitchen shears to cut them in half after I'd pitted them. But if you don't have a pitter, simply cut them in half then pull out the pit. Same results!

3. On a floured surface, roll the second disk of dough to a 14-inch round. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch  wide strips (use a straight edge knife or a pastry crimper). Discard the two shortest strips. Weave the strips over the filling to form a lattice.  Click here to see how to do it.  Using kitchen shears, trim the strips so they hang over the rim by 1-inch. Tuck the strips under the rim of the bottom crust to seal. Crimp with a fork all around the edge.

4. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the lattice with the egg wash and sprinkle with some sugar.

5. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling is bubbling rapidly all over, abtou 60 - 70 minutes. (Tent with foil when the crust starts to brown at about 40 minutes). 

6. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature at least 3 hours.


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