Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cherry Pie

Admittedly--to memory--this was my first cherry pie.  Which is interesting because I really do like cherries. But then when I was making my pie, my mom called and I told her what I was making and she asked why. She told me that she thought I never liked cherries and admitted that she never did.  So maybe that explains why I've never had a cherry pie...

Nevertheless, with it being my first one I have eaten or made, I have to say that I wasn't fully impressed at first.  But I'm also not sure if mine turned out exactly how it was supposed to.  Strike that, I'm almost certain it didn't.  It tasted great--perfect amount of sweetness.  But I think the texture and togetherness of the whole thing was askew.  The filling should have been thicker.  Right?

I used fresh cherries that I got that same day at the farmers market.  They were beautifully ripe and sweet and juicy. Like really juicy.  And I think that may have been my pitfall because I poured all of that juice into the pie crust and it never thickened up with the added corn starch and sugar.  All it did was make a soggy bottom crust and a lot of leftover liquid sitting in the pie pan after I cut the first slice out.  It kind of blows because I was excited about this summer pie.  I even bought a cherry pitter--which by the by worked fantastically--to ease my cherry pie making time.  It was going to be a great pie.  But it was just ok....at first.

Then it was great pie!  Sometimes--with pies--I feel as though they taste better as they age.  I don't mean age as in weeks or months but just a couple of days later and they taste even better.  It's as though all of the pie ingredients have marinaded and melded together and are in perfect harmony.  Also, the filling seemed to thicken up a bit which was awesome.  Still, it probably should have been thicker at the outset but since it was my first cherry pie, I'm not going to mull over what should have been.

Recipe adapted a tad from Simply Recipes:

1 - 9" or 10" pie dough recipe of your choosing--enough for a top and bottom crust (I used this one from Saveur again)

Pie Filling

2lbs (~4c) sweet cherries pitted and possibly drained of excess juice?
100g (1/2c) granulated sugar
1/2tsp almond extract
2T lemon juice
3T corn starch

Egg Wash

1 large egg
1T water

Course sugar for sprinkling

-Roll out the bottom crust for the pie dough and set within your pie pan and then stick it in the fridge while you get your filling together
-In a large bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together until well combined and the cherries are fully coated
-Set filling aside
-Roll out your top crust (I made a lattice using a tutorial from Simply Recipes)
-Remove pie pan from the fridge and pour the filling inside
-Place your top crust over the filling and trim, crimp and pinch to your liking (Note about pie dough trimming: On a small edge of my pie, there was a portion that I didn't trim enough so it was cantilevering off of the edge of the pie pan.  So when I stuck it in the oven, it drooped over the edge and was like a waterfall of pie crust over the edge of the pie pan.  Thus, lesson learned:  Trim your pie dough just to the edge of your pan to avoid this droop)
-Place pie in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 425 F
-Once the oven is preheated, brush the top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle the course sugar on top and place the pie pan on top of a baking sheet to catch any juices that may drip down.  Bake pie for 15 minutes
-After the 15 minutes is up, reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for another 30-35 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling and, ideally, thickened
-Remove from oven and let cool completely

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