Monday, May 25, 2009

Lattice - Top Cherry Pie

I have to admit, they're a pain sometimes, but I LOVE pie. There's just something about pie that feels so fun and summery. This pie is perfect for a Memorial Day barbeque or any summer party. I made this cherry pie using fresh, hand-picked cherries from my husband's Aunt Jan's house. They were fresh and a little tart - just perfect!! When the pie is finished, the filling is just a little tart, sweet, juicy, and screams summer sunshine. The almond extract gives a depth of flavor and uniqueness to the pie, but if you don't have any on hand, just use double the amount of vanilla (it will still taste great!).

Cherry Pie

(Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
1 to 1 1/4 C. plus 1 Tb. sugar (more or less depending on the tartness of the cherries)
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 C. fresh or jarred sour cherries
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 recipe Lattice - Top Pie Dough (below)
1 egg, lightly beaten

Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix 1 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the cherries and almond extract. Add up to 4 more tablespoons of sugar if the cherries still taste tart. If using fresh cherries, let the mixture sit about 20 minutes. Then spread the cherry filling in the unbaked pie crust bottom.
Weave the lattice strips over the top of the pie. Seal and crimp the edges. Lightly brush the lattice top with egg wash. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Place the pie of the heated baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until the top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature again to 375 degrees and continue to bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is a golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Lattice - Top Pie Dough
(America's Test Kitchen)
3 C. all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
2 Tb. sugar
1 tsp. salt
7 Tb. vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
10 Tb. butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, chilled
8 to 10 Tb. ice water

Process the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and continue to process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.

Sprinkle 8 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a rubber spatula, until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two even pieces and flatten one piece into a 4-inch disk (for the crust bottom). Flatten the other into a 4 by 3-inch rectangle (or the lattice strips). Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Roll the bottom crust out and fit to a 9 inch pie plate. Roll the lattice strips to form a 10 ½ by 13 ½ - inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or knife and a ruler, cut lattice strips. Freeze the strips slightly to make them easier to weave on your pie.

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