Monday, October 8, 2007

Cherry Pie

So, while I inherited my dads dark eyes and hair, it was from my mom that I inherited my sweet tooth. Generally, while I would try to save some room for a sweet dessert, my dad would just prefer another helping of dinner to a decadent dessert. He’ll eat desserts, yes, but he doesn’t crave sweets like I do.

But, his favorite dessert is well known in my family and that’s a cherry pie. Growing up we had a cherry tree and my mom would make my dad fresh cherry pies, a lot. She would freeze the fresh cherries to make pies when the cherries weren’t in season. Sadly, the cherry tree died after about 10 years, I think it was too close to the house and just didn’t have enough room to continue to grow, but what do I know? I may have been president of my FFA chapter, but I was never much of a gardener.

Okay, back to the pie. So, my dads birthday is today and I decided to tackle a cherry pie recipe. I perused some pie recipes online and found this recipe at Epicurious. I went off to Wild Oats to see if I could find the ingredients that I needed. They didn’t have any! So, I went to Harris Teeter… and they didn’t have exactly what I needed, but they did have a selection of canned cherries that I thought I could work with.

So, I studied the epicurious recipe and then I looked at the recipe that my mom always used to make her cherry pie and I came up with my own recipe. And this pie turned out delicious! My crust was a little on the dry side, but still tasty. I will definitely keep and use this recipe again! Tart and sweet all at the same time!

Cherry Pie

2 cans of Sweet Pitted Bing Cherries (14.5 oz cans)
1 can of Tart Cherries
3 tbsp cornstarch
½ cup Dried Sweet & Tart Cherries (about 3 ozs)
¼ cup Granulated Sugar
1 tbsp Butter
½ tsp Almond Extract
Red Food Coloring
Cream or milk
Pie crust for a double crust pie

Strain syrup from bing cherries and reserve juice. Strain tart cherries and reserve it’s juice separately. Combine the bing cherries and the tart cherries in a bowl with ¼ cup of the sweet juice (save the leftover juice), 2 tbsps of the tart juice, and the cornstarch; stir to blend and set aside.

Combine 1 cup of the sweet juice along with 1 tbsp of the tart juice with the dried cherries in a large saucepan. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes on medium low heat to allow the dried cherries to plump up. Uncover and increase the heat to medium and simmer until mixture bubbles thickly and it has reduced to about ¾ cup, stirring occasionally (about another 10 minutes). Add your other cherry mixture to the saucepan mixture along with the butter and heat thoroughly over medium heat until mixture bubbles and thickens (about 3-5 minutes). After mixture has thickened, pull off heat and add almond extract and a few drops of red food coloring. Transfer pie filling to a medium bowl and let it cool completely.

After it has completely cooled, position a rack in the second to the bottom row in your oven and preheat oven to 400 F. Roll our pie disk on a floured surface to 12 inch round. Transfer to a 9 inch diameter pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1 inch. Put pie plate into the fridge while you roll out your top. Roll the top crust to 12 inch diameter. Spoon pie filling into bottom crust and then cover with top crust. Crimp edges decoratively and lightly brush the top and edges of the pie with whipping cream lightly. (I also sprinkled sugar on top the crust). Make four slits in the top of the crust to allow the steam to escape.

Place aluminum foil strips around the edges of the pie to keep them from browning too quickly. Put pie on a baking sheet with a rim and place into the preheated oven.

After 25-30 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and continue to cook.

Cook for about 50-55 minutes, until crust is golden.

Transfer pie to rack and allow to cool for 2 hours. Serve pie lukewarm or room temperature.
Tip: When transferring rolled pie dough to pie dish fold crust in half or in quarters and then place the dough in position in the pie dish and then unfold it to fit the dish.