Dark Cherry Pie
Cherry pie screams summer to me. When the craving hit, it was saying, "Don't settle for canned cherry pie filling, make me special!" But, I didn't want to spend hours or a small fortune on buying and pitting fresh cherries. What to do? Frozen dark cherries. May I recommend Trader Joe's brand? That is, if you have one in your area.
The dark cherries give this a nice flavor that isn't an overwhelming sugar bomb. And the pie crust is a standby that I use for all pies, sweet or savory. It is excellent: buttery, flaky and scrumptious. And the pie is perfect on its own or a la mode. Have doubts? Try it!
Dark Cherry Pie
double pie crust (recipe follows)
3 lbs frozen dark cherries, thawed and drained
1 c granulated sugar
3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg white
1 tbsp water
Double Pie Crust
2 2/3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 c butter, well chilled and sliced
7-10 tbsp ice water.
1. To prepare the pie crust, mix flour with salt. Cut in butter (this may be done with a food processor). Add about 6 tablespoons of ice cold water to flour and butter mixture. Toss with a fork adding more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to come together. With hands, press together and lightly kneed. Divide into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for half an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a pie dish with butter.
3. Combine cherries, sugar and cornstarch. Let sit for 10 minutes. Heat in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until mixture is nicely thickened. Set aside.
4. Roll out crust. Place one crust in prepared pie plate. Sparsely prick the bottom with a fork. Fill crust with cherry mixture. Top with second crust.
5. Make an egg wash by mixing the egg white with water; blend well. Brush over top of crust. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in 375F oven for 20 minutes; loosely cover pie with aluminum foil and continue to bake for an additional 25-35 minutes. If necessary, remove foil for last 5 minutes to obtain a rich golden color for the crust.
*Don't refrigerate the dough longer than half an hour or it will become too stiff to roll well. Otherwise, allow it to sit a bit at room temperature before rolling.
*If cutting designs from top crust, do this before placing on pie.
*Use extra dough pieces to make shapes to add to pie crust. Fasten by applying a dab of water to use as glue for the attached pieces.
*Pinch the rim of the crusts between knuckle of index finger and thumb for a seal between the two crusts that is also attractive.