Friday, July 22, 2011

Cherry Pie

I have never been a big pie fan.  It's not my thing.  As I grow older however, it is more and more my thing.  I still like a tart more but this absolutely gratifying as well.  I do like the challenge of making a nice pie that looks visually appealing.  While apparently from the picture above I am still learning, I am most certainly enjoying the process.

As far as crusts go, there are so many ways you can go, butter, lard, with egg, without egg....  I decided to go with a butter/ lard combo. I don't keep Crisco on hand because of the transfat and I really prefer a more natural approach with the lard so I went with pork lard.  People say it makes your pie crust taste porky but I didnt find that at all, maybe it is because I used mostly butter. I am definitely a butter in my crust kind of person but I do like this combo though.  It made a flaky and tasty crust.

These are the cherries we picked last week before the raging heat wave hit.  Dang, it's hot.  We were suppose to go picking blueberries this week but as I just stated, dang. its hot.  So that will be delayed for another time. Don't say to me, "oh Lori, don't complain about the heat because it is better than the white stuff that will be flying in January."  First of all I am grateful for my days, whatever they may be.  Secondly, I never complain about the cold till the very end of winter.  I prefer cold.  To be quite honest, temperatures ranging from 30F to 75F, suit me perfectly.  Okay so I admit, I do complain (about heat) sometimes but really I am grateful for each day that I have. But you know, dang it's hot!
Cherry Pie
Adapted from this recipe at Epicurious

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon sugar

For filling
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted (2 pound)
Whole milk for brushing

For Crust:  Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Slowly drizzle ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.Once it forms a ball easily, stop adding water and mixing.

Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Pull in sides of wrap as you form it into a disk, tucking the plastic neatly all around.  Chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle and put a large baking sheet on rack.
Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into a large bowl with a small knife. Whisk in tapioca flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and sugar, then add cherries and toss well. Let stand 30 minutes.
Roll out larger piece of dough (keep remaining piece chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 14-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim any excess dough to leave a 1/2-inch overhang. Chill shell while rolling out top crust. 

Roll out remaining dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round.
Toss cherries well again, then add to shell and cover with top crust. Press edges of crust together, then trim, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang underneath, then crimp decoratively and brush top crust with milk. Cut out 5 (1- by 1/2-inch) teardrop-shaped steam vents 1 inch from center and sprinkle with sugar (1 tablespoon). 

Bake pie on preheated baking sheet 30 minutes, then cover edge with a pie shield or foil and reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Continue to bake until crust is deep golden and filling is bubbling in center, 50 minutes to 1 hour more. Transfer pie to a rack to cool completely, 3 to 4 hours.


LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

This looks great! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I appreciate it.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

LaVonne @ Long Wait For Isabella

grace said...

i love to eat cherry pie, and i don't really mind picking them, but man--pitting them is a BEAR! :)

kat said...

I prefer pie over cake myself & Matt loves the cherry version