Lately, I have been noticing some sinfully red cherries cropping up, and behold, it is cherry season. Around the same time the cherries began blushing at me, it was also nearing my Dad's birthday, so I put two and two together, and made him a super fresh cherry pie (I really am an awesome daughter).
And I must humbly admit, it got rave reviews. My Dad has since divulged that he was initially a little worried, because he tends to find most cherry pie sickly-sweet. However, he said this was the perfect balance of sweetness, and was definitely not shy about going back for more! The texture of the fresh cherries were really nice and plump, and it had a unique depth of flavor from the hint of orange, vanilla, and almond. It was also sweet, and definitely a little tart, but it wasn't toooo sweet.
I hope you break away from the syrupy-canned stuff, and try out this super fresh pie while the picking is still good!
* 6 cups Bing cherries, halved pitted (a big bag)
* 2 1/2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
* 4 tablespoons butter
* Pie Crust (see "How To")
* Pit the cherries. Now, this was by far the most time-consuming part. I used a small knife to accomplish the job, and just plunked down in front of the tv with my cherries and a bowl. You can also buy a cherry pitter if you prefer.
* Preheat the oven to 400.
* Mix the pitted cherries with all of the ingredients, except the butter, in a large bowl.
* Pour the cherry mixture into your pie crust, and then dot with top with the butter.
* Roll your pie crust over top, and decorate (see "How To" for directions).
* Line the edges of crust with foil (so they don't burn), and bake for 30 minutes.
* Remove the foil band, brush the top with heavy cream or egg whites, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
* Continue baking for approximately 30 minutes, until golden brown.
* Let the pie cool on a rack for 4 hours or so. I like to bake the pie the day before serving, and let it cool overnight. The reason being that the filling needs to cool to thicken up to the right consistency. I really think it's just easiest to do it a day ahead so you don't run out of time, and there's not too much pressure.
* Slice and serve! It's not pictured, but this pie is so good with some vanilla ice cream. The mild flavor is a creamy complement to the tart, sweet cherries.
Recipe adapted from here.
~ Stay fresh!