Sweet Cherry Pie and What to Do with Pie Crust Scraps
Growing up, I really didn't like cherry pie. It was not something my mother or grandmother made, so I had only eaten it at restaurants. Only later, did I discover that the reason I didn't like it was that I didn't like the canned cherry pie filling that most restaurants at the time used. I almost added my description of it in that last sentence, but decided that it was so unappetizing that it might keep you from trying this recipe. And, that is definitely something I don't want to do. Fresh cherries are so much better! In fact, they almost don't even seem like the same thing. This recipe has a fresh, delicious taste that is sweet enough without being too sweet.
The crust is this pate brise recipe from Martha Stewart very slightly adapted. The filling is probably the same ingredients that you see in most cherry pies. I just played around with it until I got the perfect sweet-tart combination. Of course, that is subjective, so you could add more or less sugar or lemon juice depending on your own taste.
Yield: 1 pie (8 slices)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. sugar
2 sticks butter, cold and sliced into eight pieces each
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water (I used 6 Tbsps.)
Process flour salt and sugar in a food processor for just a few seconds to combine. Add butter and pulse the processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, through the tube until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides and clump. It should hold together, but not be wet or sticky. Divide the dough into two portions. Form a disc with each portion and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour.
6 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsps. cornstarch
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir until the cornstarch is evenly distributed and wet.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out one disc of pie dough into a circle about 2 inches is diameter bigger that the widest part of your pie plate. Roll the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to the pie plate. Trim the excess dough from the edges. Add the cherry mixture to the pie. It should be slightly mounded in the plate. Remember it will cook down a bit. Roll out the second disc and place on top of the pie. Trim the edges again. Crimp, if desired. Cut several slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. You may need to shield it with a foil tent at some point if the crust gets too brown before the filling is cooked. Allow to cool before cutting. I cut mine a little too soon, so the slice in the photo is not the best. I was trying to get the photos made before dinner - that is what happens when you hurry. But, if you let it cool, it cuts very nicely.
Source: pie crust barely adapted from Martha Stewart
Do you have leftover piecrust scraps? Scroll down to end of this post (after the cherry pie photos) for what to do with it.
Now for the pie crust scraps. My daughter is not at all a fan of cherries, so I made these for her to have a bit of dessert with the rest of us, and besides homemade pie crust is too good to waste. Just squeeze all the scraps together and form a ball. Then re-roll them out and cut into strips. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake until golden.