As you may know, it is virtually impossible to find fresh sour cherries in the grocery store. But Toby’s favorite pie — and annual birthday request — is cherry pie. So I usually bake pies with sweet cherries. When I can find them.
This year, I got a present for my birthday (10 days before Toby’s) that changed that: a case of canned tart cherries.
They’re called Ruby Red Morsels of Joy, people. How awesome is that?
Anyway, I used two cans to make a cherry pie and it was perfect. If you have canned tart cherries in water at your grocery store, you need to go get some right now and make this pie. Or you can order them from Cherry Republic. I’d get extra if I were you.
I like to let my cherry mixture sit for a while (like 30 minutes or more), but you really only NEED to let it sit for about 15 minutes.
I was making cheese biscuits and bean salad at the same time as this pie, and I forgot to take photos of the crust-making process. I’m sorry. I used the crust I used for the raspberry-blueberry pie, though. It’s easier to work with than other crusts I’ve tried, and it is still flaky.
If you don’t want to mess with the lattice top, you can just do a full top crust with some slits or a shape cut in the center.
You don’t even have to pit the cherries! And it’s even better with vanilla ice cream.
Tart cherry pie (Adapted slightly from Cherry Republic)
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons quick/Minute tapioca
1/4 vanilla extract (or almond, if you prefer)
2 14.5-ounce cans tart cherries in water
Pie crust (see below)
Drain the cherries, but reserve 1/2 cup of the juice. Stir together sugar, tapioca, vanilla, cherries and 1/2 cup reserved liquid from cans of cherries. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400.
Pour cherry mixture into prepared pie crust**, then roll out and cut second crust into strips and weave across pie in a lattice pattern (or just top with second crust — but be sure to cut several slits or a hole in the middle of that crust). Seal the crust, then crimp or flute the edges. I usually press them down with a fork because I’m fluting-impaired.
Brush crust lightly with mix of an egg and 2 tablespoons milk (just milk would be OK, too), then sprinkle with turbinado or granulated sugar.
Bake 50 minutes to an hour, covering the edges of the pie with foil after 30 minutes to prevent over-browning. Pie will be done when filling is bubbling slowly and crust is golden. Allow to cool (for an hour or more, if you can wait) before serving.
**The original recipe says to dot the pie with butter before adding the second crust. I forgot to do that, but it might be a good idea — especially if you are using a whole top crust instead of lattice.
Pie crust (Makes enough for one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies. Adapted from Epicurious)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter
6 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup sour cream
Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut butter and shortening into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the flour. Add butter and shortening and rub it into the flour with your fingers until it forms pea-sized pieces.
Add sour cream and 4 tablespoons of ice water. Stir just until the dough comes together, adding more water a tablespoon at a time if necessary (I needed 7 or 8 tablespoons). Gather dough together and divide into two equal balls. Flatten each into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least two hours (or place in freezer for 45 minutes to an hour).
Take one disk out of refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a large circle with a lightly floured rolling pin, starting from middle and rolling to edges. Do not stretch dough. Place gently in a pie pan or dish, allowing a bit of crust to hang over the edges.