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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Classic Sour Cherry Pie w/ Lattice Crust

This article is written by Eddie.  He's been a guest writer for a few articles on here and he's still getting used to food photography.  As he gets more accustomed to the whole blogging deal, take a look at his recipes and you'll see that he's a great cook; and you'll see this when you try out his recipes.

For my first attempt at making a pie from scratch, I have to say it came off with relative success! I decided to make a cherry pie because they are in season right now and thought it would be fun to try something new. At first, I was intimated by the idea of making my own crust but it turned out to be a lot of fun and not as hard as I thought.

For those a little weary here are a couple of tips to better your odds of having a light and fluffy crust.

*Make sure to keep the butter super cold, as well as the cutting board you will be using to roll out the dough. Also, important to work quickly when kneading the butter with the flour, making sure not to overwork. The idea is to work it just until it comes together than stop*

Tools you will need:
                Rolling pin, small sharp knife, large cutting board, pastry brush, olive pitter, glass pie dish (9           
                inch in diameter), ruler, measuring cups & spoons
For the crust you will need:
                2 1/2 Cups unbleached all purpose flour
                1 Tablespoon sugar
                3/4 Teaspoon Salt
                1 Cup (2 Sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
                5 Tablespoons (or more) ice water

Step 1: Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large cold bowl to blend. Add butter and rub with finger tips (cold                 
            hands are best) until small pea size clumps form
Step 2: Add 5 tablespoons ice water: mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces                 
            are pressed between fingers, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. (if dough           
            appears to be sticky or warm toss into freezer for 15-20 minutes to give the flour a chance to          
Step 3: Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic and chill 
            in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes

For the filling you will need:
                1 Cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
                3 Tablespoons cornstarch
                1/4 Teaspoon salt
                5 Cups whole pitted sour cherries or dark sweet cherries (from about 2 pounds whole unpitted                                          cherries)
                1 Teaspoon fresh lemon juice (if using sour cherries) or 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if using                                       dark sweet cherries)
                1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
                2 Tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

In the mean time, you can work on the filling mixture. It is handy to have a olive/cherry pitter on hand. If you don't then you will have to cut them in half before taking out the pit

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees, position rack in bottom third of oven
Step 2: Pit out 5 cups of cherries
Step 3: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of sugar, cornstarch, and salt to blend. Stir in cherries,   
            lemon juice, and vanilla; set aside

By now, the dough should be ready.
Step 1: Take out one disk and roll onto a floured surface to a 12 inch round (cold rolling pin is ideal as        
            well). Transfer to glass pie dish.

Step 2: Trim dough overhanging to 1/2 inch. Place in fridge as you take out the second disk
Step 3: Roll out second disk onto a floured surface to a 12 inch round
Step 4: Use ruler to measure out 10 3/4 inch wide strips, scoring the edge as a marker. Then cut out the                 
Step 5: Transfer filling to dough lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter
Step 6: Arrange 5 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly.
Step 7: Work with remaining dough strips one at a time, weaving them over and under the bottom layer                
            of dough strips
Step 8: Trip dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust over ends of dough strips; crimp edges                 
            to seal
Step 9: Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Place pie on rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Continue to bake until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown. Cover edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour longer. Transfer to pie rack and cool completely.

Delicious, seasonal, and easy to do as long as you keep one thing in mind, COLD!!!