Sour Cherry Pie

It is now sour cherry season here. As I have mentioned in previous posts using sour cherries (see rhubarb cherry jam and sour cherry semifreddo), we buy 25- to 30-pound buckets of Utah sour cherries with sugar, break them down into 3-cup bags with some juice, and then freeze them so we can make pies, cobblers, and frozen desserts all year long. This cherry pie recipe has been in my husband’s family for at least 50 years. My mother-in-law made cherry pies for most special occasions. She always made several for Christmas dinner, birthdays, and summer barbecues. As she got older and began to see her memory fading she taught my husband, our children, and several other grandchildren how to make it and now they carry on the cherry pie making tradition. Although I watched my mother-in-law make pies frequently, ours never tasted quite the same and I could not understand why, because I had followed her process exactly. Finally it occurred to me that she did not bake her pies in Pyrex glass pie plates like we had; she always used metal pie tins, and her crusts were not so dark and had a better flavor. Now I have some of her old metal pie tins to use and our cherry pie finally tastes right.

Sour Cherry Pie
Pie Crust
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1-1/2 c. pastry flour
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 c. lard, room temperature (not cold)
1/2 c. (or a little less) ice cold water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine flours and salt. Mix. Cut lard into flour and with your hands form pea-size crumbs. Make a well in the center and add just under 1/2 c. ice water. Gently and carefully work the dough into a ball with your hands. Just bring dough together; do not overwork because you want to see lard marbling the dough as you roll it out on a lightly floured surface (roughly 1/8″ thick). Fit dough into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Add cherry filling and trim the edges. Roll out some of the remaining dough into a top crust, then add top crust over pie filling. Make slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. (You will have enough extra dough for a single-crust pie; sometimes we use it to cut out cookies and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.) Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is bubbling in the center. Cool on rack. Store covered at room temperature.

Sour Cherry Pie Filling
3 c. sour cherries with juice
1 c. sugar
pinch of kosher salt
3-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2-1 tsp. almond extract

Put cherries in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. While the cherries are heating mix the sugar, salt, and cornstarch together in a bowl. Stir well. Once the cherries are boiling stir in the sugar and starch mixture, then keep stirring until cherries have thickened (5 minutes or so). Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter. Once the butter has melted add the almond extract. Pour into prepared crust.

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This entry was posted in Desserts, Fruit, Pies, Thanksgiving. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sour Cherry Pie

  1. Kent Blazic says:

    Man that looks delicious… Perfect crust..

  2. Pingback: Hungarian Poppy Seed Cake | Judy's Culinaria

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