Bake the Book: Sour Cherry Pie
Cherry pie, what a delight! Teeny's Tour of Pie: A Cookbook uses sour cherries and only shortening in the crust to make this all-American dessert.
The tender texture and mild flavor of an all-shortening crust works well with a lattice; it lets the fruit shine through without overpowering it. It's also the simplest pie to make out of the four we've featured, with the most distinctive flavor. The crust comes together in three steps, and the filling is a breeze. This is one of those pies you can make and look like a pastry whiz, without knowing much at all.
Tips: It takes a little time to roll out and cut the top disk of dough into lattice strips; by the time you get to weaving, you might notice that the heat in the room and in your hands is making it a little difficult to produce your artistic vision. For best results, stick strips in the fridge for 10 minutes after you've rolled out and cut the dough. It'll make handling easier.
As for the filling, sour cherries have an extremely short window of availability, so you'll most likely find them frozen at the supermarket. Make sure you are buying sour cherries; if they aren't in your grocer's freezer, Teeny recommends Friske Orchards, which sells Montmorency Tart Cherries frozen online.
Tweaks: The almond extract is there for a reason; it enhances the flavor of cherries and is often included in cherry-based desserts. In an absolute pinch, use vanilla.
As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Teeny's Tour of Pies to give away.