This recipe appears in:Bake the Book: Sour Cherry Pie
This might be what your brain comes up with when you think "pie": tongue-tingling sour cherries (and a dash of almond extract) encased in an easy-to-weave lattice crust. The tartness of the cherries and the delicate lattice are an inviting combination, and weaving one is easier than you think.
Why this recipe works:
- 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.
- This is 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.
Excerpted from Teeny's Tour of Pie: A Cookbook by Teeny Lamothe. (Workman). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Sara Remington.
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch (6 tablespoons if using frozen fruit)
- 4 cups fresh or frozen sour cherries, pitted
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 disks dough from My Mom’s All-Shortening Crust (ingredients below)
- Up to 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for rolling out the crust
- All-Shortening Crust
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 5 to 6 tablespoons warm water
Make the Crust: In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar and salt until everything is thoroughly combined. Add the shortening and cut it in using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers until each piece of shortening is the size of a small pea and coated in flour.
Add the warm water a tablespoon at a time and using your hands or a rubber spatula, press the dough together to form a large ball. (Be careful to handle the dough as little as possible, otherwise the crust may be tough.)
Divide the dough into two equal balls, press each into a 1-inch disk, and you're ready to roll out your crusts.
Assemble the pie: Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle position.
Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Place the cherries (or thawed cherries and juice) in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until they begin to juice. Stir occasionally until you have 1/4 to 1/2 cup of juice in the saucepan.
Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the sugar mixture, stirring until it’s fully incorporated and there are no lumps; the liquid will be milky and very thin and watery. Cook, stirring constantly and being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, until the juice thickens and deepens in color, becoming shiny and translucent, but the fruit is still intact, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the filling to a heatproof bowl and stir in the almond extract. Set aside and let cool while you prepare the pie crust.
Prepare the bottom crust: Place one disk of the dough on a floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin roll it into a rough 11-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Lay the crust into a 9-inch pie plate, gently press it in, and trim any excess dough from the edge with a paring knife, being sure to leave a 1/8-inch overhang.
Give the cooled filling one final stir to combine and pour it into the crust.
Prepare the lattice crust: On a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out the remaining dough disk into a rough 11-inch circle 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into strips and weave them into a lattice, like so:
Roll out the top crust into a rough 11-inch circle (for Teeny Pies, roll out the crust into rough 6-inch circles). Using a pastry wheel or butter knife, cut the dough into 1- to 1 1/2-inch strips (1/2-inch strips for Teeny Pies).
Begin your lattice: Lay half of the strips horizontally over the filling, spacing them 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch apart. Laying the strips closer together results in a tighter lattice.
Pull back every other strip to reveal the filling, and lay your first strip beneath them perpendicularly, placing it near the edge of the pie.
Unfold the pulled-back strips so they rest on top of the new strip.
Weave in the remaining dough strips in this fashion, alternating which strips you pull back, until the top of the pie is covered. Tuck the ends of the strips (if necessary, trim them to about 3/4 inch) under the bottom crust overhang and crimp to seal the two together.
Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the filling is thickly bubbling and the crust is golden brown (cover the crimp with foil if it begins to brown too quickly), 45 to 55 minutes.
Make 'Em Teeny Pies: In step 5, divide one disk of the dough into four equal balls and roll out each into a rough 6-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Lay each into a 5-inch pie tin, and trim any excess dough from the edge, being sure to leave a 1/8-inch overhang.
Give the filling one final stir and spoon an equal amount into each crust-lined teeny tin (roughly 1 cup each).
In step 7, divide the remaining dough into four equal balls and roll out each into a rough 7-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Cut each dough circle into strips and weave them into a lattice over each pie as directed. Tuck the overhanging dough strips under the bottom crusts and crimp together, pressing to seal.
Bake the Teeny Pies until the crusts are golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.