Cherries. One of my favorite things about summer.
I picked up two gigantic bags at a local outdoor market last week. They were on sale because they were sort of funny looking–my husband described them as Siamese Twin Cherries. Each one had an appendage with its own pit. No matter. They were still delicious and we ate them.
A few days later I started craving cherry pie….a strong craving that had to be satisfied. Being somewhat naive, I wondered if anyone actually made their own fresh cherry pie. (I know, I know. Of course they do! I’m such an idiot….)I just always assumed cherry pie filling had to come from a can. No! It doesn’t. You can make your own. I headed to my book shelf to get my trusty cooking companion, The Joy of Cooking, and found the exact recipe I was looking for.
Conversation with my husband:
Me: “So…uh, what did you think of the cherry pie?”
Him: “Why do you ask? Didn’t you like it?”
Me: “Yeah, but you usually tell me what you think. So I was just wondering…”
Him: “It’s because I was too busy thinking to myself how lucky I was to be eating cherry pie made from fresh cherries. (Sigh.) I bet no one I know ate fresh cherry pie for dessert tonight…”
Yay! Another husband pleasing recipe. I always consider that a success.
From The Joy of Cooking
2 prepared pie crusts (store bought or homemade), rolled and ready to use
5 cups pitted sour or Bing cherries (2 to 2 1/2 lbs.)
1 1/4 cups sugar (3/4 cup for Bing cherries)
3 to 3 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 to 2 drops red food coloring (optional–I didn’t use it)
2 to 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Fit one of the rolled pie crusts in a 9 to 10″ deep dish pie plate.
Place the pitted cherries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and cornstarch. Toss. Add water, lemon juice, almond extract, and food coloring (if using). Toss again to coat, making sure no lumps of sugar or cornstarch remain.
Pour the cherries into the prepared pie plate. Dot with the 2-3 Tbsp. unsalted butter.
Fit the second rolled pie crust on top of the filling and crimp the edge to seal the top and bottom crust together. Use a fork to poke holes along the top of the pie. Place the pie plate on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet to catch any overflowing juices.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Lower oven to 350 degrees F, and let the pie continue to bake for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until the top and bottom are golden brown, and the juices are bubbling and syrupy.
Cool the finished pie on a rack until ready to serve. (We let it cool completely for neater slices and then warmed the individual slices in the microwave for 10 seconds.)