I’m not always all about the pig here. If you’ve followed along during the last almost 5 years you know I usually try to do more seasonal things. Summer is about fruits and vegetables. Mostly. Cherries are in season and hitting the markets so this week armed with a bag of dark cherries, I baked a pie.
As I’ve repeated many times, I’m not much of a baker but boy can I bake a good pie. The 3-2-1 pie dough ratio is flawless and always makes perfect dough. For me it simply came down to executing on the filling. I just had to make sure it was pretty much the same as making apple or peach pie. Basically mix some sugar and flour with the cherries, let sit, then put in the pie shell and bake.
Just to verify I checked the internet and at first was a little put off because a lot of the recipes I saw included simmering cherries in sugar water in order to make a syrupy filling. My thinking on this was why make a syrupy filling ahead; baking should accomplish this like with other pies. Right?
Turns out I was correct in my presumption and I think it makes a better cherry pie this way. You don’t need to do this and you get much more actual cherry flavor than sugary syrup. The cherries retain a little firmess and aren’t mushy. And without that extra step you get your pie a lot quicker too! One problem solved.
Next was removing the pits from all those cherries. Not having one of those fancy cherry pitter tools, I was just going to prep them by cutting in half and removing the pit. However, during my interwebz research about making the filling I came across an ingenious way to pit cherries using a wooden spoon and bottle.
Simply place the cherry on top of the bottle and push the end of the end of the spoon through the cherry. It pushes the pit out and collects it in the bottle. Same process as one of those cherry-pitter things. Worked like a charm.
Pro-tip: don’t wear a white shirt, there will be some spurts of juice when you push down on the top of the cherry. Nevertheless, it’s a small amount of mess for a super time-saver. I did the 4+ cups of cherries in probably less than half the time it would have taken me slicing and pitting.
This pie turned out great! I got the baking time just right and the crust is perfectly baked all over. The cherry filling has just the right amount of sugar to sweeten but keep the cherry flavor. You’ll notice the filing is a nice maroonish-purple rather than red. Tastes just as good as it looks. Like summer.
Homemade Cherry Pie
- 3-2-1 pie dough (12 oz flour-8 oz butter-4 oz water + pinch of salt)
- 4-5 C pitted cherries
- ¾ C sugar
- 1 ½ Tbs lemon juice
- ¼ C flour
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tbs butter, thinly sliced
- Egg wash – 1 egg yolk + 2 Tbs water
- Spoonful of sugar to sprinkle on the pie’s top crust
Mix the butter and the flour together until pea sized balls form, add the water, and form into two dough balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
If you have one of those cherry pitter things go ahead and dust it off and pit those pieces of fruit. Or try the bottle and wooden spoon trick. If not, you can cut them in half and remove the pit.
Add sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, and flour to your pitted cherries and toss to coat well. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Next, take out one ball and roll it out the dough into a round big enough for a 9 – 9 ½ inch pie plate. Leave the other one in the refrigerator.
Put the bottom into a pie plate. Pour cherry mixture into pie shell. Dot the top with the thinly sliced butter.
Take the other dough ball out of the refrigerator and roll out. Place on top, trim any excess dough, and crimp the edges together. Poke holes in the top with a fork or knife tip.
Brush with the egg wash, sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 375°F, cover the edges with aluminum foil and bake for 40-50 more minutes.
Allow to cool on a rack before serving.