Monday, June 25, 2012

Cherry Berry Pie

When summer fruit is at its peak, a Cherry Berry pie is a delicious way to use it up. If you can, use fruit from your local farmer's market (or even your own garden), since it will taste better the fresher it is. I used dark sweet cherries, strawberries and raspberries for this recipe to get a deep red color. You can use any combination of cherries and berries you have on hand, but do not use more than 1 cup raspberries. They turn to mush when cooked, and contain small seeds, so you will end up with a mushy, seedy filling. 1 cup or less is good just for flavor.

Note: If you are looking for a traditional tart cherry pie, see the cherry pie recipe on my recipe page instead of this one.

Cherry Berry Pie:

This recipe makes one DEEP dish pie. If you have a shallow pie plate, you can lessen the measurements for the filling, or cook the leftover filling briefly on the stovetop then store in the fridge to use as a jam.

Prepare and chill one recipe Flaky Pie Crust

3 Cups dark, sweet cherries (I used Bing cherries)
2 Cups ripe strawberries
1 cup ripe raspberries
3/4 Cup Sugar (you can add more or less to taste, depending on how sweet your fruit is)
1/4 Cup Instant Tapioca beads (available near the pudding in your grocery store)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional

Wash the fruit and drain well. Pit the cherries and slice in half. Cut the strawberries into halves (or quarters for very large berries). Leave the raspberries whole. Mix the cherries and strawberries together in a large bowl with the sugar, tapioca and almond extract. Let this mixture sit and macerate for at least 20 minutes. Fold in the raspberries last.

Line the pie plate with the bottom crust. Sprinkle a little flour in the bottom and then add fruit mixture. Cover with the top crust and crimp edges. Cut slits into the top crust to vent (I attempted a decorative polka-dot design here, but it didn't look as pretty as I thought it would.) Brush crust with milk and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling. Check the pie halfway through baking to see if the edges are getting too brown - if so, cover edges with foil.