Pie is...well, for lack of a better term: easy as pie. It really is such a simple thing to make, and quite impressive--especially if you get fancy with the design. Make your pie crust the night before, then pull it all together a few hours before you need it. I make my pie crust dough in the food processor, and it's lightning fast. For this pie, I like to use organic, umbromated, unbleached white flour. This is a decadent, delicious, flaky crust: something for special occasions. (Let's not pretend this is health food, by any means.) I promise to share another version I make that's vegan and uses whole wheat pastry flour very soon. Also, I wanted to find a recipe that didn't use tapioca or corn starch so it wouldn't turn out all gel-y and Hostess-pie like. This just uses some flour, and while a little juicy, was sooo good!
2 1/2 cups organic unbleached flour
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1" cubes
1/4 cup cold non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (earth balance is great)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-7 Tablespoons ice water
Blend together above ingredients, except the water, together in food processor until coarse. Add 4 Tbsps water and pulse. Test a small bunch of dough and if it doesn't hold together, add 1 Tbsp more at a time until it does. Do not overwork the dough. Turn out onto work surface, divide into 8 portions. Smash each portion a couple times to distribute the fat. Then gather together to make 2 balls, and flatten each into a 5-6" disc. Wrap tight in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.
5 cups fresh tart cherries, pitted
1 cup organic cane sugar, more if cherries are very tart
1/2 cup organic unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 Tablespoon organic cane sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out one of your pie crust discs, fit into 9" pie pan and return to fridge. In a large bowl, gently fold together pitted cherries, sugar, flour, cinnamon almond extract. Pour into pie crust. Roll out the top crust, slice into 1/2" strips and lattice the top of the pie (or try some other fancy design and send me a pic). Fold the edges of the bottom crust over and press edges together with your thumbs. Sprinkle top with sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden brown and cherries are bubbling up. I always cover the edges with a piece of aluminum foil, and remove for the last 10 min. of baking so they don't burn.
Serves 1 -12