Cherry pie filled with sweet cherries (fresh or frozen) is a summer favorite that my family adores. A touch of orange liqueur in the filling helps the cherries shine as they bubble in a rich, flaky crust. Check out my post on a leaf lard/butter crust for a way to send this pie over the top!
My Oh My Cherry Pie
2 lbs (900 g) frozen pie cherries
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
5 g freshly squeezed lemon juice
A very small grating of nutmeg
1/3 tsp salt
1 T (15 g) Gran Marnier or Cointreau (orange liqueur)
3 T (36 g) quick-cooking tapioca
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (can be stored in fridge overnight).
Pie Crust with Leaf Lard/Butter
2-1/2 cups (363 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/ 2 tsp salt
1 T sugar
8 T (112 g) unsalted butter
8 T (112 g) rendered leaf lard
1/2 cup (118 g) ice water + 15-30 g more as needed
Additional flour for rolling out dough
Chill work bowl and blade of a food processor. Put flour, salt, sugar and fat into the bowl and pulse 15 times. Use a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined.
Add 4 T of ice water and pulse 10 more times.
Add 4 more T of ice water and pulse 5 more times.
Turn the ingredients into a bowl, add more ice water as needed, briefly mix by hand.
Split evenly in two (use a scale for this) and pat each dough ball into a 5” dome, securely wrapping in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Roll out the first dough ball into a 11″ diameter circle, leaving the second dough ball in the fridge while you work. Lay the rolled out pie crust into a 9″ pie plate and trim the outside edge about 1/2″ from the rim of the plate. Tuck the overhang under and crimp the edges how you like it. (I didn’t bother to crimp this one). Pour the pie filling into the pie plate, and place in the fridge until you roll the top crust.
Roll out the second dough ball. For the pictured pie (above), I cut a variety of circles of different shapes. You can also cut stencils into the crust which is fun, or weave a lattice crust:
Roll the second dough into a circle as above. The crust should be 1/4” (.6 cm) thick. Using a scalloped pastry cutter or a pizza cutter (a knife will do in a pinch), cut dough into strips 3/4” (2 cm) apart. (Feel free to use a ruler if you cut like me).
To weave, first moisten the edge of the pie with a water using your finger. Lay the two longest strips in an X in the center of the pie. Alternating horizontal and vertical strips, use an over/under method. The shortest strips will be for the edges of the lattice. Trim any excess dough with kitchen shears and then crimp the edges decoratively. Brush the lattice lightly with the egg white mixture and sprinkle lightly with the sugar.
Once the whole pie is put together and brushed with egg wash, chill the whole pie in the fridge or freezer for at least 15 minutes. Cold butter/dough is the key to a flaky pie crust, and it usually warms up a bit by the time you’ve rolled out the dough, poured in the filling, and crimped the edges.
Place your pie on the center rack of a preheated 350°F oven and bake until golden and the juices are not only bubbling, they are doing a slow, thick bubble, about 60 to 70 minutes*.
*80 minutes with two pies in the oven.
Let the pie cool on a rack before serving just slightly warm or at room temperature so the juices have a chance to thicken. This will make it easier to slice and serve.
Fantastic served with Old Fashioned Vanilla ice cream!!
Adapted from an old recipe by Gourmet Magazine.