Holiday Pies: Sour Cherry

November 21, 2013

Recipe and Styling by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong 

Our pie countdown to the holidays has begun! We used a sour cherry in this recipe, but sweet cherries are wonderful too. Just cut back the sugar by 1/3 cup. 

Sweet and Sour Cherry Pie
serves 8 

1 prepared pie dough for a double crust pie (The secret to a perfect pie crust found HERE)
2 pounds (about 6 cups) fresh or frozen pitted sour cherries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 tablespoons instant tapioca, pulverized into a fine powder (I use a zip-top bag and a rolling pin to crush)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk for an egg wash
Vanilla Ice Cream for serving (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cherries, salt, sugar and pulverized instant tapioca. Fold in the vanilla paste, lemon juice and zest. Set aside while rolling out the pie dough.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger disk of dough into a 12-inch round that is about 1/8-inch thick. Gently drape the dough into a 9-inch pie pan (draping is the key, you don’t want to push the pie dough into the pan, just let it fall naturally). Fill the pie shell with the cherry filling and dot the top with the cubed butter. Trim the dough to have only a 1/2-inch overhang (I use scissors) from the edge of the pie pan. Roll out the remaining dough into an 11-inch round that is about 1/8-inch thick and do any decorative cut outs to the dough now or cut into strips for a lattice top (just make sure you have at least one hole in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape). Refrigerate the pie while the oven is preheating.

Preheat oven to 400º F and position oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment for easy cherry ooze clean up later. Place the refrigerated pie on the lined baking sheet and brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350º F and continue baking until filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown (about 45 to 60 minutes). If the crust starts getting too brown before the pie is fully baked, cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Slice and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like…I don’t always like.


Intimidated by a lattice top? Don’t be!
How-To Do A Lattice Top Pie 

Since this beauty requires a bit more concentration, I’ve broken the process down into the following steps:
•Roll out your first dough and drape in your pie pan. Allow the excess to hang over the edges. Add your filling. Roll out the second pie crust slightly larger than your pie pan and use a sharp knife to cut into equal width strips. (I like to use a ¾ to 1-inch wide strip).
•Using every other strip, lay the strips vertically over the pie leaving a little space between each one. All the strips should overhang the pie a bit.
•Fold every other strip back on itself without creasing them.
•Take the shortest strip remaining from Step 1 and lay it horizontally so it snugs up against the folded strips.
•Unfold the strips that have been flipped over themselves and lay down on the pie.
•Fold back the strips that weren’t folded back in Step 3.
•Lay next strip remaining from Step 1 horizontally so it snugs up against the folded strips. Unfold the strips that have been flipped over themselves and lay down on the pie. Continue the lattice process until all of your strips have been used. Trim your edges, turn under and crimp however you like.

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