Have you ever discovered a “hidden gem” at a farmers’ market? A few years ago, we were strolling through our local market, and way down at the end of a row, was a cherry stand. Of course, we tasted a sample of the slightly sour, already pitted little cherries, and the entire family fell in love. We immediately bought a huge bucket full of them…enough to last through the winter! As the snow fell, we feasted on cherry cobbler, cherry pie and roasted pork with glazed cherry sauce. Each year, we have to return, like migrating ducks, to our favorite stand at the end of the market row, to buy another big bucket of those luscious cherries!
Cherry pie must be made with sour cherries. The sweet ones lose too much sugary flavor during the cooking process, and the pie can taste bland. Sour cherries, on the other hand, have just the right amount of tart to balance the added sugar and flaky crust. Add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, and you’ve got a perfect summer treat (or autumn or winter or spring). This recipe has the added bonus of being very easy to throw together! As far as pies are concerned, this one is a cinch. The only thing quicker is how fast it gets eaten!
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 5 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup butter-flavored shortening
- 1/3 cup ice-cold water
- egg white and sugar for brushing top crust
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and almond extract in a large ziiploc bag. Shake to combine.
- Add cherries to the bag and gently toss to coat with flour mixture.
- Put in refrigerator while making crust.
- For crust, combine flour and salt in large bowl.
- Cut in shortening with pastry blender until shortening is size of peas.
- Add water and stir with a fork just until flour is absorbed. if too dry, add another Tbsp. or so of water.
- Form dough into a ball.
- Flour board and rolling pin. Roll dough from the center to form a circle (about 1/8 inch thick) larger than pie plate.
- Fold in half, lift and set in pie plate. Press to conform to pan.
- Cut off excess dough and crimp edges.
- Add cherry filling. Spread evenly.
- Cut strips with excess dough to form a lattice crust, roll a full top crust or cut dough with cookie cutters and place over top of filling. Combine egg white with a little water and brush over top of crust. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Cover crust, if browning too much, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 25-30 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Serve this pie with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream. Keep spoons handy to scoop up the saucy leftovers in the bottom of the pie plate!