Ever since I read my friend Sarah's recent post about cherry pies, I've been itching to make one. I love to bake, and it's been a while, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Is there nothing better in the summer than fresh, from-scratch cherry pie? I think not! And here's my recipe, which would be perfect for any of your Fourth of July celebrations, or just as a special treat anytime.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter, cut into pieces and cold
1/4 cup ice water, plus a few tablespoons more, if needed
Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix them together. Add the pieces of cold butter and pulse the machine until the butter is incorporated; the mixture will look like coarse crumbs. While the machine is running, slowly add the ice water through the feed tube of the processor. Process only just until the dough starts to come together. Be careful not to overmix and do not let the dough get too wet or sticky. To test to see if the dough is ready, remove the lid of the processor and squeeze a bit of the dough. If it's too crumbly, add a bit more ice water, one tablespoon at a time, while the machine is running.
Turn out dough on a clean surface, and divide into two equal parts. Press into round discs and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least one hour or up to overnight.
(If you don't have a food processor, or prefer to do this step by hand, you can incorporate the butter into the flour and salt using a pastry cutter or a couple of forks. Then just slowly add the water and mix with a large wooden spoon just the dough starts to come together.)
7 cups tart cherries (I used frozen--see tip after recipe)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about half of a lemon)
Pinch of salt
1 Tabelspoon of milk or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of pie dough until it's big enough to fit complete in your pie plate and up to the edges of the dish. Place carefully in the pie plate and refrigerate while you make the filling.
Add cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt into a medium sized bowl. Mix until well combined and set aside. Roll out the other piece of pie dough until it's large enough to fit over the pie plate. Remove chilled pie crust and plate from the refrigerator and pour prepared filling into the dish. Carefully place top crust over the cherry mixture, trim off any excess dough, and pinch edges together. Prick the top of the crust with a fork to allow steam to escape, and brush the entire surface of the crust with milk or heavy cream.
Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 40 to 5o minutes. If the edges of the crust start to get too brown while cooking, cover them with a bit of aluminum foil to keep them from burning. Transfer pie to a wire wrack and allow to cool. Serve either warm, at room temperature, or cold and enjoy!
Tip--if you choose to use frozen cherries, which is much easier in my opinion than pitting a bunch of fruit, defrost completely and drain well before adding the rest of the ingredients to the filling mixture.