Friday, June 24, 2011

Cherry Pie

1 recipe for Flakey pie crust
6 Cups Cherries, washed and pitted (see note at bottom about cherries)
3 Tablespoons Minute tapioca
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 to 1-1/2 cups sugar, depending on the tartness of the cherries
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter, cut into little pieces

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Allow to mascerate for 20 minutes.  Spoon the cherries and juice into the pie crust, dot the cherries with the butter, then cover with the top crust or a lattice crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

A note about cherries:
When I first started making homemade cherry pies, I did not know there was a difference between cherries. I bought Bing cherries in the grocery store and wondered why my pies, while tasty, didn't have that tartness that a cherry pie should. Then I realized it was because I had not been using sour cherries a.k.a. "tart cherries." Why hadn't I seen them in the stores like the other cherries? Well, they can be very hard to find. These elusive cherries are only available for a short time in the summer, and you rarely see them at your local grocery store. (In fact, I read in Martha Stewart's pie book that she grows her own cherry trees just for this reason.) Look at Farmer's Markets or specialty stores like Whole Foods. If you still can't find them, you have two choices: You can look for frozen sour cherries, or use Oregon brand canned sour cherries in water. It is not a pie filling, just the cherries, so you still make your own filling. The last option is to use fresh sweet cherries and realize that your pie will be sweet, lacking that tart "true cherry pie" flavor.You can always try adding a bit of lemon juice to add tartness if you'd like.

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