14 Dec
Posted in: food
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She Makes Cherry Pie!

A couple of days ago, I made this pie and just before putting it into the oven I snapped a shot with my cell phone and posted it to Facebook. One of my friends asked for the recipe, and it’s only now that I have been able to sit down for the first time to write it up.  So this is for you, girlfriend.  You know who you are, and I want to see how this turns out for ya!

I remember my aunt Mill’s Cherry Pie from when I was a kid. My aunt is a great source of inspiration for my cooking – and now making things in my kitchen reminds me of all the love she put into her food. I like to think I’m passing that down to my boys.  I had never made a cherry pie in my life, so this recipe is actually an adaptation of the ten or so recipes that I found online. And I was rushing while trying to do it because the boys were sitting in their highchairs in the kitchen starting to complain – so my measurements were less than exact for the filling part.. but everything turned out well in the end.

Pate Brisee Crust
This is a very buttery crust that can be used for just about any fruit filling. There are several theories and recipes for this same crust, however, I opted for the not too sweet, nor to savoury version.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 225 grams) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 Tbsp ice water

1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.
2. Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. If you want an extra flaky crust, shmoosh the dough mixture into the table top with the heel of the palm of your hand a few times. This will help flatten the butter into layers between the flour which will help the resulting crust be flaky. You can easily skip this step if you want. Gently shape the dough mixture into two disks. Work the dough just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
3. Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
4. Add filling to the pie.

Here you can do one of three things with the other dough disk:
1. Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork. Score the top of the pie with four 2-inch long cuts, so that steam from the cooking pie can escape.
2. Roll out the second disk of dough, as before. Using a star (and / or heart) cookie cutter, cut out about 20 stars or hearts or a mixture of the two. (I used 2″ cookie cutters for this project). Place the stars on a non-stick surface baking sheet and place in the refrigerator while you’re making the filling.
3. Roll out the second disk of dough and cut into 1/2 inch strips using a ruler. Make a lattice top for your pie.  If you’re unsure of how to make a lattice top, here’s a demonstration video:

Cherry Pie Filling
5 to 6 cups fresh pitted cherries, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds (approx 1 kilo)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons (or juice of half of a yellow lemon) fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch (Maizena)
pinch of salt
large pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Glaze for Stars and Hearts:
2 Tbsp cream
white granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, water, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract.  Let sit for about 10-15 minutes and then pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and dot with the 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of butter. Lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with egg wash. Starting at the outside edge of the pie, place the cut out pastry stars and/or hearts in a circular pattern on top of the cherries, making sure the tips of the stars/hearts are touching. Once the top of the pie is completely covered with the pastry stars/hearts, brush the entire surface with the cream. Sprinkle with a little granulated white sugar.

Place the pie on a larger baking pan, lined with parchment paper, to catch any spills. Bake the pie for about 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Continue to bake the pie for about 25 – 35 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the cherry  juices are starting to bubble. If the edges of the pie are browning too much during baking, cover with a foil ring.

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for several hours.  Serve at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Store any leftovers for 2 – 3 days at room temperature. As if it will last that long.

By the way, this cherry pie tastes like Christmas. Apparently the crust reminded our dinner guests and my husband of some Christmas cookie they had.. I think it might have reminded them of shortbread cookies. TADA!



So, what do you think?