Sour Cherry Pie
July 20, 2014
My family farm has a couple of cherry trees, and this year we just happened to be in town (its 2.5 hours south of Chicago) when they were ready to pick! We picked as many as we could in 20 minutes, and got just enough for a pie and some hand pies I made a week later. Last year we got lucky with cherries, too, and I made this slab pie, which is also fantastic. It’s always hard to decide what kind of dessert to make when you only get cherries once a year. Next year, I vow to spend more than 20 minutes picking cherries (someone will have to entertain the children!), so that we have enough to freeze for later. Then I can make a pie, a slab pie, this sour cherry crumble pie that Aunt Suzy posted about years ago, and this cake that looks really good.
I found this recipe while reading a Smitten Kitchen blog about a strawberry rhubarb pie recipe that I used recently. The idea is that you bake the crust before baking the pie, so that the bottom crust isn’t soggy. I like that idea. It’s what I do with my single crust baked pies, like peach and custard pies, so why wouldn’t I do it with cherry? The results were just as I wanted…no soggy bottom crust. Instead it was nice and crisp, buttery and delicious. Instead of a traditional lattice top, I used a round cookie cutter to make a decorated top. I could have layered them and added more, because I didn’t think about the fact that they would shrink during baking. So I recommend putting more on than you think are needed.
Twice-Baked Sour Cherry Pie
adapted from Melissa Clark’s recipe in The New York Times
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, more for rolling out dough
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons instant tapioca
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pounds sour cherries (about 6 cups), rinsed and pitted
1 tablespoon kirsch or brandy
3 tablespoons heavy cream, or 1 egg yolk lightly whisked with 1 tbsp water
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling.
1. To make dough: in bowl of a food processor pulse together flour and salt just to combine. Add butter and pulse until chickpea-size pieces form. Add 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until mixture just comes together. Separate dough into 2 disks, one using 2/3 dough, the other using the remaining. Wrap disks in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days) before rolling out and baking.
2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place larger dough disk on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12-inch circle, about 3/8-inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Line dough with foil and weigh it down with pie weights. Bake until crust is light golden brown, about 30 minutes.
3. While pie crust is baking, prepare filling. In bowl of a food processor, combine sugar, tapioca and cinnamon (use more tapioca if you prefer a thicker, more solid filling, and less if you like a looser, juicier filling). Run the motor until tapioca is finely ground. Place cherries in a bowl and add sugar and tapioca mixture. Drizzle in kirsch or brandy and toss gently to combine.
4. When pie crust is ready, transfer it to a wire rack to cool slightly and reduce heat to 375 degrees. Remove foil and weights. Scrape cherry filling into pie crust.
5. Place smaller disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it 3/8-inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter (or several round cookie cutters of different sizes) to cut out circles of dough. Arrange circles on top of cherry filling in a pattern of your choice.
6. Brush top crust with cream or egg wash and sprinkle generously with Demerara sugar (as you can see in photos, I forgot my sugar. Oops.) Bake until crust is dark golden brown and filling begins to bubble, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours, allowing filling to set before serving.