Pie. A very American food. Especially the sweet varieties. No one ever says as Italian as apple pie. It is always American as apple pie and I am quite proud of this fact. Pie is a darned good baked good that can give any international dessert a run for its money. That being said, I naturally jumped at the chance to stretch my baking legs and share a bit of my food culture with my Germans when I harvested the practically unmanageable bounty from the cherry tree in the garden. (Who knew how many cherries grew on one tree? I could hardly believe it.)
single pie crust*
140 grams flour, plus extra for your workspace
2 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 TBSP butter, cold
2 TBSP lard, cold (yes, lard…better than Crisco)
1/4 cup cold water
*please note, for this recipe a double pie crust is required
5 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice (bottled could also work in a pinch…)
1 scant cup sugar (I used raw, white sugar)
2 1/2 TBSP corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP water
1 TBSP butter (if making a lattice crust)
1. With the exception of the water, place all of the ingredients for 1 pie crust in your food processor and pulse the machine several times or mix everything together in a large bowl until the mixture resembles a coarse corn meal.
2. With your food processor on its lowest setting, slowly add the water until the dough just barely pulls together. You may not need all of the water. Alternatively, add the water to your bowl one TBSP at a time until it pulls together.
3. Remove the dough from the food processor or from your bowl and form it into a ball. Cover with Saran wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Repeat steps 1 – 3 for your second pie crust.
4. Add all of the ingredients for the cherry filling to a deep pan and mix well. Using a spoon or spatula to lighly press some of the cherries to help them release some of their juices. Turn the burner on to medium heat and cook until the sauce develops a deep ruby color and begins to thicken. Stir regularly to avoid burning.
6. Lightly flour your work space and roll 1 of your crusts out to fit a standard pie dish. Grease your dish and place the rolled out pie crust in it. Using a fork, poke several holes in your bottom crust.
7. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.
8. Roll out your second pie crust. You can choose to either made a regular double crusted pie or one with a lattice crust. For more information on making a lattice crust (it is super easy), check out this post from thekitchn: how to make a lattice pie crust.
9. Add your cherry filling to the pie crust in the pie dish and place your desired top crust on your pie. If making a lattice crust pie, place pea sized pieces of butter in several spots on the filling.
11. Bake at 200C/400F for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 160C/325F and bake for an additional 20 – 25 minutes until the filling is bubbly and slightly sticky and the crust is golden brown. (My oven has a fan in it which may decrease the cooking time. If you don’t have a fan, your pie may take longer.)
12. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving to ensure that the filling has the chance to fully gel.