One of the ways I feed my soul is to make and bake a home-made pie.  I do it all, make the crust, prepare the fresh fruit, pull-out grandma’s deep-dish glass pie plate, and get into it. This summer I decided to try to make a cherry pie.  Most cherry pies are made with canned filling or frozen cherries. To find a pie made with fresh, hand-pitted cherries is rare.  I decided to go all the way this first time.  And it was worth it!  “Magnificent”, “Amazing”, “The Best Ever”, “Wow”, “That Was Great!”, “Fantastic”, “Really, Really Good”.  Making a home-made cherry pie is a lot of work, and most of you may not want to attempt it, but if you do, your pie will be unforgettable.  Promise!  Let’s Do This!

Summer Cherry Pie With Home-made Pie Crust Recipe

For the Pie Crust:

2 cups flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 stick of cold butter cut into cubes
1 tbsp. sugar
6-7 tbsp. ice cold water

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar into a bowl.  Add the cubed, cold butter to the flour mixture and toss to coat.  Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour until it looks like course crumbs. Add ice cold water 1 tbsp at a time and mix with a fork until a dough forms.  Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes until it is elastic enough to roll out with a rolling pin.  Cut the dough in half, roll one half out in a circle wide enough to cover the bottom of the glass pie pan.  Roll the half our and decide if you want a double crust or a lattice crust.  For lattice crust, evenly cut the crust into strips.

Tip:  Place both the glass pie plate with the raw crust and the strips into the frig to chill for 20 minutes.  This makes a better crust; I have no idea why!

For the Cherry Pie Filling:

3-4 lbs. fresh cherries for a 9″ deep-dish pie plate.
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar, or more to your taste
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

(For blueberry pie, add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg)

For the Finish Touches:

1/2 stick of butter
1 egg + 3 tbsp. water, hand-beaten with a fork for an egg-wash
1/4 cup crystal sugar for the top of the crust

Truly-living-lisa-rose-Cherries

Pit the cherries.  3x.  No kidding.  There’s nothing worse than having a guest run off to the dentist because they chomped down on your cherry pie and cracked a tooth.  Use a hand pitter, then split each cherry with your fingers and take out the pit, and check every cherry again to be sure you didn’t miss one.

Place all the cherries in a zip lock baggie with the cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice.  Zip it up. Gently toss it around until all the cherries are evenly coated with the mixture.

Simmer the cherries on low heat, stirring constantly, until the cherry juice is released and starts to bubble and slowly boil for 3-4 minutes until the juice thickens and turns to syrup. Taste for sweetness. Now would be the time to add sugar if you like.  1 tbsp at a time!  Turn off the heat and let the cherries cool to room temperature.

Tip: Pre-cooking the filling allows you to taste correct and also eliminate spill-over in the over.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cleaned up the oven after pie baking until I figured this one out with the combined help of Julia Child and good old-fashioned pie recipes.

Pre-heat the oven to 375.

Pour the cherry filling into the chilled pie crust and top with your lattice strips, weaving or layering as you like, or top with a second crust (slit the top to vent).

Tip:  Place the entire pie, again, into the refrigerator for 10 minutes to chill.  This creates a firm filling that doesn’t run when you cut into the pie.  I have no idea why!

Remove the pie from the frig, brush all the dough with an egg-wash.  Slide pats of butter to place all over the top of the pie and top off the crust with crystal sugar (sugar with large grains).  Place in the center of the oven for 45 minutes or until the crust turns light and medium brown.

Tip:  Hot pies need to cool off and rest at room temperature.  DO NOT COVER your pie with plastic, a towel, or anything else. Baked goods need to dry out, release steam, and gently cool off so they pastry doesn’t become soggy.

Leave your pie on the counter, or another safe place, for 4-6 hours or overnight. You can cover it and put it in the frig the next day, no problem, if there’s a slice left!

Your turn!  Leave a comment for me about what feeds your soul, and how you liked this cherry pie!