Cherry pie is pretty much a staple around here. At least when it comes to dessert! And this was the first recipe my mother-in-law taught me to make! So yes, it's near and dear to my heart :) You should see the reactions you get around here when you announce you've made one.
Yesterday was the perfect day to make one, so I did just that. We got "snowed in," and by that I just mean about 10 inches of white fluffy goodness outside. Not quite the definition people would say further north of being snowed in. Anyways, stuck inside, warm and toasty, with a cherry pie in the oven. Perfect!!
I thought it'd be fun to share this recipe, since it's such a favorite around here. I really hope you try it and come to love it as much as we do :) I don't even like cherries, but there's something about this cherry pie that i just looooooove. Plus, this is one of those recipes that is a lot easier if you see how it's done, rather than just reading a recipe.
Pie Crust Ingredients (fits 2-8" or 9" pans, or top and bottom crust):
2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup shortening, 5-6 tablespoons ice cold water
Cherry Pie Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 2 cans (1 lb each) pitted red tart cherries, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine (optional)
Let's get started! Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Oh, and take a look at the cherry cans, they're hard to find around here, so when we find them, we stock up the pantry! I've had the best luck finding them at wal-mart, believe it or not.
Ok, starting with the pie crust. Combine the 2 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
Next, unwrap the shortening from the package, iiiick! I never liked that part. Put it in bowl. Cut in with a pastry blender.
The pie crust mixture should have the consistency of cornmeal at this point. Or close to it :) Next sprinkle 5-6 tablespoons of ICE COLD water into mixture. Work the mixture with your hands until it's all blended and "feels right." This is the hardest part for me. If it feels flakey and dry, add a bit more water. Now split the pastry into two halves.
Either prepare to roll out pastry on your countertop or on freezer paper and sprinkle flour generously so it doesn't stick. Grab 1 of the halves of pastry, and form a flattened ball, then get to rolling! Once you're done rolling out your crust, gently place it in your pie dish and form it to the dish. At this point, you can go ahead and prepare the top crust so it's ready as soon as you finish with the filling.
Now, the filling! This is the best part! And the easiest part. Drain 1 can of cherries completely, and keep one can with the juice. Empty both cans in a large bowl. Add 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract(love the smell of almond extract :) ). Gently stir it all together.
Now, for the best part! Empty the bowl of cherries into the pie dish!! MMMMM!!! Looking good :)
Once the cherries are in place, add the top pie crust. Once it's rolled out, the easiest way to transfer the crust to the pie is to gently fold it in half (this is when i cut the heart), carry it to the pie, place the folded edge in the middle of the pie dish, and unfold. It should be pretty centered on top. Trim the excess crust away from the edges, but not too much. You still need enough crust to tuck under into the dish if you want the wavy edge. Once it's tucked under, use 2 fingers on your left hand, and 1 finger on your right, and interlock them with crust between. I'm sorry. That's the best way I can think of to explain how to make the edge! You may want to google this part if you don't know how to already. Here's something I found on Good Housekeeping. Good luck! haha, oh! Poke some holes in the top with a fork or toothpick so it has room the breathe! And sprinkle some sugar on top :)
And ya know what? Don't be intimidated by my awesome baking skills. I worked hard at perfecting my imperfections on the appearance of this pie. Like the incision of way too many forks holes, the crackly crust, and the cut in the heart shape; took me many tries to perfect all those things :) It may not be the prettiest to most eyes, but it's what's on the inside that counts. I promise it tastes like a dream!
Time to just sit back, relax, and enjoy knowing there's a tasty pie in the oven! I mean, come on, it was the perfect day to do this, am I right?! Look at that snow! It's ready! yay!Oh my yum. Only thing that would make this better would be Bluebell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream instead of Breyer's. They just don't sell the good stuff up here. Anywhere :(Enjoyin' the first bite. I mean, just look how happy he is! And there you have it.
If you try it, let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy! :)