July 11, 2016

Triple Cherry Pie

Updated: This is damn near the best pie I've ever made. Seriously perfect.

Last week, I thawed out the remaining sour cherries from last summer's harvest. I had a couple bags of fresh cherries in the fridge, and I wanted to make a quick pie with all three varieties.

Yes, it's near 100-degree temps in St. Louis right now...I know it's crazy to turn on the oven in my 115-year-old house that only has central AC upstairs.

But...but...pie-baking always makes me feel better (and with the world as it is now, we could all use something to feel better about...if even it's something small for just a few moments). #peacebypiece

Besides, I can fit a full-sized pie plate in my toaster oven. ;-)

So, I said this was the best pie I've ever made. It's true. The filling was the perfect consistency, thick and "gooey" (for lack of a better word). The cherry pies I've made in the past were always too liquidy inside. This time, however, I used quick tapioca instead of flour or cornstarch. It thickens the juice better and doesn't taste so pasty. If you haven't tried this ingredient before, I highly recommend it. I will do this from now on in all my berry pies.

Triple Cherry Pie
adapted from Art of the Pie

For the crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of ginger powder
1/2 cup of ice-cold water

For the filling:
4 cups fresh cherries, pitted *
1 cup sugar
small pinch of allspice
2 1/2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)

* I used 2 cups of sour cherries, 1 cup of Rainier cherries, & 1 cup of Bing cherries.
  • To make the crust: Mix the flour with the salt & ginger, then cut the butter & shortening in with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the butter is the size of peas. Pour in the water and mix with your hands until a soft dough forms. Add more flour if it's too sticky. Roll out on a well-floured pastry mat as big as you can make it. Dust the top with flour and carefully fold into quarters. Transfer to your pie plate and unfold, sealing any cracks in the bottom and up the sides.
  • To make the filling: Gently mix the cherries, sugar, all-spice, tapioca, & salt into a bowl and  until well coated. Pour filling into crust. 
  • Fold the dough edges over the filling. It doesn't have to be perfect. Think "rustic." 
  • Brush crust with an egg wash. (Optional: sprinkle evenly with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar.) Stab the top a few times with a sharp knife to make steam vents.
  • Place the pie in the refrigerator to chill while the oven is preheating to 425° F.
  • Bake at 425° F on the middle rack of the oven until the crust is just golden, about 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 375° F and bake until golden brown; there should be some steady bubbling in the filling, about 30-35 minutes more.
  • Let cool before serving.

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