Last weekend I had purchased 3-4 pounds of sweet cherries at the store with the intention of baking something. I wasn’t truly inspired until my mom told me that pie making was in my blood. My great-grandmother Bernice was a pie maker. If she can make pies then I can too(maybe). It was time to put my pie making skills to the test.
Unfortunately my blender decided to break at some point since these and was no longer usable. Considering my disaster a week ago I can’t say I was sad to see it go. This finally motivated me to buy myself a new gadget. A short trip to Bed Beth and Beyond this morning and I came home with a beautiful Kitchenaid Food Processor and a Cherry Pitter! This pie was really going to happen. Tips and tricks discussed after the recipe, at the bottom of the post.
Sweet Lattice Cherry Pie (adapted from Simply Recipes)
yields one 9″ pie
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 Tbsp ice water
- 7 cups sweet cherries, stems removed, pitted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or 3 Tbsp corn starch)
- 1 Tbsp of butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, plus one tablespoon milk
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse once to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until only pea-sized pieces of butter are left. Add the ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. Stop every couple of tablespoons to check consistency. When pinched dough holds together dough is ready. Remove half of dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean lightly floured surface. Gently knead dough into a disc. Do not over-knead. There will still be small chunks of butter in the dough. Repeat with other half of dough. Sprinkle a little flour around the discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place dough in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Place the pitted cherries, sugar, almond extract, lemon juice and arrowroot powder in a large bowl. Toss until the cherries are well coated with the sugar and other ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
On a lightly floured clean surface, roll out one dough disk. Form it into a 9 -inch pie pan and trim and edges that extend beyond the pie plate. Place the filling in the pie plate and dot with small dabs of butter. Place pie in refrigerator while you start on lattice top.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the other dough disk a tiny bit larger than the bottom crust. Cut the dough into even strips (1/2-3/4″)wide using a pizza cutter or dull knife. Lay out enough strips to cover top, leaving space between strips equal to strip width. Fold back every other strip. Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip. Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. Continue this process until the weave is complete over the top of the pie. Trim the edges of the strips flush with the dough of the underlying pie dish. Pinch dough together on sides and crimp with fork. (Step-by-step lattice top pictures by Simply Recipes)
In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of milk(or water). Use a pastry brush(or your finger) to brush over the top crust. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the pie in the middle rack, with a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any pie drippings. Bake pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the temp to 350°F and cook pie for 35 to 40 minutes longer. Pie is done when crust is nicely browned and the filling is thick and bubbly. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow pie to cool completely before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if you prefer. Enjoy!
I have quite a few tips and tricks for this recipe. I wasn’t all that pleased with the visual outcome. I’m trying not to beat myself up too badly since it was my first pie. I think Bernice would have been proud, but had a few words of wisdom for me. I ended up adding 2 more cups of pitted cherries to the recipe above (I only used 5 cups, not 7). The filling, while very tasty, didn’t fill up to the top of the dish. If your dish is smaller or larger you may need to adjust accordingly. I just think a pie needs to be filled to the top so it’s almost “bursting” with filling. I also chose to use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch. I’m not a fan of highly ingredients and arrowroot is much more natural than cornstarch.
Of course my last comments are all about the dough. I think the consistency and flavor came out great, but I need to work on my rolling skills. I had trouble getting the dough to stretch enough while still maintaining its shape. It took rolling out a couple of times before I was able to get the bottom piece large enough. As for the lattice top, I think practice makes perfect. For my first attempt it’s not bad, but being a perfectionist I strive for more. I decided my mantra will be: “You live, you learn, and you bake more pies.” It can’t have been all bad if it’s already gone. Happy Sunday!