I’m a pie person. Fruit, berry, cream, whatever. If it’s needed for a get-together, I’ll volunteer to make it. My favorite pies are the ones that use fresh ingredients, like strawberries, peaches, raspberries and apples when they’re in season and locally picked.
The one type of pie I had never tried until recently was cherry. Boy, was I missing out. I’m not talking about the cherry pies that are made with canned filling. I’m talking real cherries in a homemade filling. Now that’s a true pie.
A note about pie crusts
My pie-baking secret: I don’t often make homemade pie crust, usually because I’m short on time. And as my grandmother has told me, why spend the time making a homemade crust when the ones out of the box (or the frozen section) taste just as good? She’s getting at something there, folks.
Will you pie look as nice as it would if you spent the time making it yourself, and arranging the lattice top? Probably not. But a store-bought crust won’t hurt the flavor, so it gets the job done.
How to make cherry pie
The inspiration for making cherry pie came from the Brown Eyed Baker blog. I found it in a Pinterest search for “cherry pie” a little over a year ago. The picture of her pie is what sold me. The lattice top was perfect, but I already knew I wouldn’t attempt it because I needed the pie for a special occasion and couldn’t risk it not turning out well.
Once I got to reading, I also knew I wouldn’t be able to buy fresh cherries, since it was the dead of winter in northeast Ohio. I opted for canned cherries. I hadn’t checked for frozen or jarred cherries, but they can work for this recipe, too.
I’ve made this recipe several times now, and each time it gets better. The first time I made this pie, there was too much water still on the cherries, which led to a very soupy filling. About halfway through the baking time, I noticed that I hadn’t completely sealed my crust, so the soupy filling was spilling out onto the cookie sheet. The pie looked a little messy, but at least it tasted good. The next couple of times I made the pie, I was careful to thoroughly pat dry the cherries with a paper towel after I had drained them. The crust still split open, but that could be because of the high baking temperature and the thinness of the crust.
As a double-crust pie, you’ll see the shape of the cherries once it’s baked, even though they cook down a bit. If you attempt the lattice crust, you’ll likely end up with a prettier pie.
You’ll need these supplies:
- Cookie sheet
- Sharp knife
- Can opener
- Rubber spatula
- Small bowl
- Large bowl
And you’ll need these ingredients:
- 1 package deep-dish pie shells (2 shells come in one package)
- 1-¼ cup granulated white sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Three 14.5 oz. cans red tart cherries, whole and pitted
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yield: 8 pieces
- Place a cookie sheet on your oven’s lowest rack. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Remove frozen pie shells from the freezer. Take one pie shell (for the top crust) out of the package. Using a sharp knife, remove the crust’s outer edge.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt with a whisk.
- Open cans of cherries and drain well. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess water if needed.
- Place cherries in a large bowl.
- Gently stir in the almond extract with a rubber spatula. ¼ of a teaspoon isn’t much, but the extract is strong, so you won’t want to add any extra.
- Gently stir the sugar mixture into the cherries with a rubber spatula, coating all cherries evenly.
- Pour the filling into the second pie shell.
- Carefully remove the first pie shell from its pan and place the crust over the pie. Make sure the filling is level before you do this.
- Use a fork to seal the crusts together all the way around the pie. Make sure there are no open spots. If the crust tears, gently mold it back together with your fingers.
- Use a knife to cut two small slits in the top center of the pie to let heat escape while it’s baking.
- Bake the pie for 50 minutes on the cookie sheet, or until crust is lightly browned.
When the pie is baked, remove from the oven with the cookie sheet. Keep the pie on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then take the pie and place it on a wire baking rack to cool.
Have you made this recipe, or one similar to it? Let us know in the comments below.
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