It’s cherry season! As is evident by the abundance of cherries in markets and grocery stores – and they’re on sale now too!
If you google recipes for cherry pie, oddly enough you get results for a song by a band called Warrant. I’m not joking – it’s the third result, and even more below it! Go figure.
Anyway, most of the recipes out there call for either 4 or 6 cups of cherries. I’ve always wondered why the big difference. So I made 2 cherry pies. One with 4 cups, and one with 6 cups of cherries. And yes, there is a BIG difference.
Let me first point out that a pie filled with only 4 cups of cherries results in a much more watery and obviously less-filled pie. While still tasty, my hubby much prefers the type busting open with cherries and not spreading out all over his plate.
Aside from those two things, they are pretty much exactly the same. If you’re on a tight budget, you can get away with 4 cups. But, if you REALLY want a good, juicy, not drippy cherry pie, go with the 6 cups!
Very Cheery Cherry Pie
Double recipe of Basic Pie Crust
6 cups pitted fresh cherries (about 2 1/2 pounds unpitted)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on if you have early season tart cherries, or late season ripe, sweet cherries)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (you may think this seems out of place, but almonds are related to cherries, and naturally go REALLY well in cherry pie!)
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
Preheat oven to 400F.
I believe I have discovered the easiest way to pit a cherry.
Step 2 – place the cut half without the pit into the bowl.
Step 3 – eat the half with the pit inside. That way you will always get only the BEST cherries in your pie since you will know exactly what each and every cherry tastes like.
Anyhoo, I digress. Stir together pitted cherries and cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon, and almond extract gently.
Roll out half the chilled dough on a floured surface. By the way, pastry dough does not like humidity. The day I made this pie was a very humid day. Even with the air conditioning on, the dough still suffered. Hence the lack of crimping you will see later.
Place the rolled out dough into a 9 inch glass pie pan. Trim the edges to about half an inch.
Spoon the filling into the crust using a slotted spoon.
Leave the liquid in the bowl! Unless you like runny cherry pie. In that case, dump it all in :D
Dot the filling with bits of cold butter.
Roll out the remaining dough for either a lattice top or regular. Drape over the filling and trim, leaving about 1 inch hanging over. Fold under the bottom crust, press to seal, and crimp (my dough was falling apart, I did not have enough edge to fold or crimp properly this time).
Cut slits into the crust to form steam vents. Use a pie crust shield or make one out of foil to prevent the crust from browning too quickly.
Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350F, remove the shield and bake for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden.
Cool or serve right away (if you serve hot, it will be a bit runny until the filling sets).
I didn’t get a picture before this piece was all that was left :D