Monday, July 21, 2014

hello again {sour cherry pie}

Well. It's been a while. After a long stretch of time where I just didn't feel like blogging, I'm back, inspired by a new apartment, and more importantly, a new kitchen. By New York standards it's huge--so huge that all of my prior apartment kitchens would likely fit inside of it comfortably at the same time (though that's not saying much). It also has a window, which is a first for me (unless you count my law school apartment, but my "kitchen" there was really just a wall of appliances in the living room) and a machine that washes dishes for you. I don't know how I survived eight years without a dishwasher, but I am never going back. Ever. I would marry that dishwasher if I could. I should also mention that I share this kitchen with someone else. His name is Ben and he's an enthusiastic eater and an excellent kitchen-cleaner. For those and about a hundred other reasons, cooking is so much better when he's around. So I've been back in the kitchen in earnest, with the winners so far being these chicken fajitas, this spinach, these muffins, and this sour cherry pie, which was Ben's birthday request.

Oh this pie. It involved an early-morning trip to the farmers' market, a hefty sour cherry bill, and even a bit of cursing-the-baking-gods as I attempted to roll out the dough in my overheated kitchen. But all of that strife was quickly forgotten as soon as I took my first bite. Ben claims that I proclaimed myself a "pie genius" upon tasting it, but I think he must have been hearing things. (He totally wasn't--this pie is definitely genius-level). Two days later, it's nearly gone and I'm already planning to make another. If you can get your hands on some sour cherries, I suggest you do the same. I'm so happy to be back--more sweets soon.

sour cherry pie
adapted from Food Network

enough pie dough for a double-crusted 9 inch pie, chilled and divided in two (see note, below)
5 cups sour cherries, rinsed and pitted
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
3-4 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

For the Filling: Place the cherries in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until they start to release their juices. Add 1 1/3 cups of sugar and 3 tablespoons tapioca, and cook, stirring very often, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the almond extract and remove from the heat. Let the filling cool. If it is too thick, add a little water. If it is too thin, add another tablespoon of tapioca.

To Assemble and Bake the Pie: Preheat the oven to 375. Roll out the bottom crust and transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Pat the dough into shape and trim the edges. Pour the cooled cherry filling into the crust. Roll out the top crust and place it over the top of the pie. Flute the edges, and cut steam vents either by making slits in the top crust with a sharp knife, or by using small cookie cutters to make a decorative pattern, as I did above. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the top of the pie, and bake for about 50 minutes. The pie should be golden and the filling should be bubbling. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.

Note: I always use Dorie Greenspan's Good for Almost Anything Pie Dough, which has never failed me. It's flaky, buttery, and, in my experience, very forgiving. The recipe is available in her book, Baking From My Home to Yours, and I've previously posted it here

1 comment:

Kate said...

Yay, you're back! What a happy surprise to see this in my Feedly. It's fitting that you introduced Ben to your readers via a pie :) Happy birthday to him!