Monday, May 28, 2012

Sour Cherry Pie

Something exciting happened at my house in the past week: my first harvest from the garden. I got lots of snap peas and English peas, plus buttercrunch lettuce and Nantes carrots (shown above). These are a French heirloom carrot that do well in heavier clay soils because they stay short and compact.

I also made a sour cherry pie, which I haven't made since I took a college cooking class and dubbed this pie the Platonic Ideal of a Cherry Pie. You can make cherry pie with the sweet cherries we find here in California, but it is a very different thing from this pie. You have to find sour cherries, which I found at Whole Foods in the frozen aisle. They don't sell them fresh out here because sour cherry trees grow where the weather gets much colder than in our temperate climate.

But the search for sour cherries, even if frozen, is totally worth the trouble. This pie has that complex sweet/art classic cherry pie flavor, but a homemade pie texture that makes all of those glooey Hostess Cherry Pies I ate as a child hang their heads in shame (or would if pies had heads).

I use tapioca instead of cornstarch because I L-O-V-E the texture of tapioca in pies, but you are welcome to follow the recipe as is. I use the Perfect Pie Crust recipe posted here, brush the lattice top with egg white and sprinkle with coarse sugar before baking. Serve with vanilla ice cream and you'll be in heaven.

Sour Cherry Pie

1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust
3 1/3 c. fresh or frozen sour cherries
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. + 1 T. Thickgel OR cornstarch
1 1/3 c. water or juice from cherries
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 T. + 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Rinse and pit fresh cherries or thaw frozen cherries. Combine sugar and thickening agent in a large pot with water or juice from cherries. If desired, add almond extract. Stir mixture and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Fold in cherries. Cool before filling prepared pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling. Cool on a wire rack before cutting.

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!