It’s the weekend before July 4th and there are fresh dark sweet cherries in every grocery store I visit… so naturally the “chubby kid” inside me with his red, white, and blue Star Spangled T-Shirt riding up on his belly wants Cherry Pie! Okay, kid, I hear you!
I love my basic pie crust recipe. Depending on the pie, I will add or take away different ingredients. For example with pecan pie or any overly sweet syrupy pies, I prefer a more savory (salt) crust. With creampies and some fruit pies, a more sweet and richer crust.. so the addition of sugar and egg yolk. Now, with all that information that you may or may not need, my basic crust for this recipe has increased a bit in ingredients because we will have a lattice crust; a weaved crust. It’s pretty, it’s classic cherry pie design, and it’s so easy to make.
For The Crust:
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
7 tablespoons frozen solid shortening, cubed
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
5-6 tablespoons ICE water (not just cold, but ice water)
basic egg wash (1 egg with a splash of water, mixed)
turbinado sugar or crystallized sugar
In a food processor add the flour and salt and give it a pulse to mix. Add in the cubed butter and frozen cubed shortening. Pulse until the mixture resembles course fried bread crumbs. With processor running, tablespoon by tablespoon, add the ice water until the dough balls up while running.
Turn the dough put onto a lightly floured surface, ball it up smooth, flatten, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
When your cherries are ready and you’re ready to get this pie in the oven, pull out the chilled dough. Unwrap and place on the highly floured surface. I never roll right away... I let it “slack out” or warm up a bit first for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough in half. Roll out one-half to a 12” round and about 1/2-1/4” thick. Lay into a 9” pie dish and trim the overhang to about 1/2”. Roll out the second half the same size and thickness. With a pastry wheel or your good eye and a sharp knife cut ten, 3/4” strips.
For The Cherry Filling:
5 cups whole pitted fresh dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds whole unpitted)
1 heavy (rounded) cup granulated sugar
3 rounded tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 large lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (Almond and cherry are classic partners)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Gibe it a good mix with a spoon to combine evenly.
- Add in the pitted whole cherries and begin to toss to coat. I like to let the mixture set for a bit and allow the cherries to extract their natural juices. Maybe about 20 minutes while your oven preheats.
- Fold in the lemon juice and almond extract to combine evenly. Spoon the mixture into your pastry lined dish. Mound up the cherries a bit into the center and out with the cubed butter.
- Lay the dough strips on top of the pie.. 5 down and 5 across, weaving the “across strips” (one up one down) through the “down strips”. Trim the "overhang" dough strips the same 1/2” overhang of the bottom crust. Roll up the overhang onto the lip of the pie dish and with the fork tines of a dinner fork, crimp the edges. Run a knife around the outer edge of the pie dish to clean it up.
- Brush the lattice work and butter edge with your egg wash. Sprinkle on the crystallized sugar for crunch and “sparkle”. Place the pie on a sheet pan sheet pan to catch any drips.
- Bake in the 425-degree oven for 15 minutes to set the crust. Lower the temp to 375 degrees and bake an additional 45-50 minutes or until the filling has thickened and bubbling. *If your butter edge crust is getting too dark, very carefully lightly cover the pie with aluminum foil. Don't be afraid to check the pie for doneness.
- Pull from the oven when cooked and let it rest until just warm. Serve with Homemade Vanilla Bean Frozen Custard or ice cream… or whipped cream… or nothing at all. Enjoy!