Thursday, July 23, 2015
Sweet & Sour Cherry Pie
Sweet and sour cherries nestled inside of a buttery, flaky lattice style crust is my delicious take on cherry pie. Make sure you don't look too closely at my lattice though. It is all over the place, just wrong. But hey, it still tasted good, so we won't call it a total failure :) I honestly have no idea what happened. I pretty much was just winging it but I thought I had a pretty clear idea in my mind how it should go. I thought I was pulling back alternating strips to make it look all nice and fancy. I thought that it would be the prettiest pie I ever made. Insert sound of *car screeching to a halt* noise here cuz oops, not so much. As I was brushing on the egg wash, I realized, heyyyy wait this isn't right. Too late now, into the oven it went. And lucky for me, I was the only one who even noticed.
I considered not sharing these pictures on the blog because, well its sort of embarrassing in that silly perfectionist way that I am, but this recipe is way too fantastic to not share only because of funky lattice. I mentioned in my last post here that we lost a lovely sour cherry tree in a major storm the first winter we lived in our house. It wasn't really until after we lost it that I actually realized what kind of tree it was and how much delicious food I could have made with those sour cherries. I have been on the hunt for some at the grocery store ever since but I always seem to miss their very short season. I finally found some this year but they were pretty pricey. So I decided to make a mixed cherry pie with both sweet and sour cherries and I am so glad that I did.
The two cherries have slightly different textures and flavors. The sour cherries have a little bit more tang and become a little bit softer while they bake. The sweet cherries have very intense cherry flavor with lots of sweetness and they stay just a bit firmer. When they are combined together in this bubbly, rich pie they go perfectly together. The buttery, crispy, flaky, barely sweet crust is wonderful for not only this pie but any pie, sweet or savory that you want to make. The recipe below is enough for one full pie, top and bottom crusts. We enjoyed this pie for my mother-in-laws birthday, with a little bit of freshly whipped cream and it was fantastic! Also, just a note, if you can't find the sour cherries, feel free to make this same recipe with all sweet cherries and it will be amazing as well. I would recommend decreasing the sugar in the filing to between 1/4 and 1/3 cup. Hope you enjoy!
Sweet & Sour Cherry Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp ice water
Place the flour, sugar, salt and cubes of very cold butter in a food processor. Pulse these ingredients until you have a crumbly mixture with butter pieces the size of small peas. Start by adding 4 tablespoons of the ice water and continue to pulse. Continue to add the water until the mixture looks like fine sand and if you pinch some crumbs together between your fingers it holds together like dough. Turn everything out into a pile of crumbs on a flat surface and use your hands to bring the dough together into a round disk. Just the light pressure from pushing the crumbs with your hands will be enough for his dough to hold together. Take care to not over work the dough here; once it all comes together you are done. Wrap the dough disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Sweet & Sour Cherry Filling
1 lb sour cherries, pitted
1 lb sweet cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
To pit the sour cherries, I used a small frosting piping tip and just gently pushed it through the stem end and popped the pit out the other side of the cherry. I did not find this method to work very well with the larger sweet cherries so I sliced all the way around the cherry with a pairing knife and then rotated the two halves apart. The pit will stay attached to one half of the cherry, so I just pushed it out with my finger. You could, of course, make this pie with just sweet cherries or just sour cherries, but make sure to adjust the amount of sugar accordingly. Combine the cherries with the sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl and stir well.
All-purpose flour for rolling
1 egg + 1 tbsp water, beaten
1 tbsp course sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove your pastry dough from the refrigerator and cut in half. Flour a flat surface very well and roll half of the dough out into a circle about 2 inches larger than your pie plate. Wrap the dough around your rolling pin and carefully transfer it to your pie plate. Tuck the excess dough that is over hanging the pie plate up under the edge of the pie plate and crimp it all the way around by pressing the dough between your thumbs and fingers. If you have any long areas of excess dough, you can trim it off first. You want your crust edge to be relatively even in thickness. Pour the cherry filling into the pie plate and set aside while you make the lattice.
Roll the second piece of dough out into the same size circle as the first. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut 10 strips of dough. I could be very very wrong about these instructions for making the lattice because mine came out kind of wonky but the method that I describe next is what I thought I was trying to do to make my pie. Lay five strips of alternating pieces of the dough out across the top of the pie filling with about 1 inch gaps between them. Pull back the second and fourth piece of dough and lay the corresponding sized piece of dough on top in the opposite direction. The new piece of dough should be laying on top of piece one, three, and five. Pull the second and fourth pieces of dough back over the pie so that they are now laying on top of the crisscrossed piece. Now pull the first, third, and fifth pieces of dough back and lay your next piece of dough across over the second and fourth strips. Now pull the first, third, and fifth piece back across the pie and they should now be on top of that second piece of dough. Continue this method for the remaining three strips of dough, alternating which pieces you pull back each time. Re-crimp the crust of your pie so that it is fairly even.
Brush the pie crust with the egg wash and sprinkle course sugar all over the top. Bake the pie on the bottom rack of your over for about 60 minutes. If your crust starts to get too brown towards the end of the cooking process, you can tent the pie with aluminum foil. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least an hour or two before serving.
Inspired by Martha Stewart and Foodwishes