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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?

I grew up singing that song about Billy Boy's quandry of whether his future wife could bake a cherry pie or not. . . odd song, but a tasty lesson there. Folks are generally wowed by a lattice topped pie, but they needn't be, it is rather simple and actually quite fun to express a little edible artistry in my all time favorite dessert.

Cherry Pie
2 cans tart pie cherries (I can my own and use a quart, that provides leftover juice perfect for cherry lemonade)

Drain cherries and reserve juice. You will want 3 to 3 1/2 cups of cherries and 1 cup of cherry juice.
In medium sauce pan mix together:
3/4 c – 1 c sugar
1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup cherry juice

Whisk until sugar and flour mixture is well dissolved. Cook on medium high heat stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Stir in:
3 1/2 c drained cherries

Pour cherry filling into prepared pie crust (recipe to follow) and dot the top with 1 tsp. butter

Add top crust. For lattice – cut 1/2 inch wide strips of pie crust, and then starting with the center strips, weave together just like you would to make placemats in kindergarten. 

Seal crust pieces down by wetting slightly with water. Use leftover lattice strips to cover the edge of the crust, then crimp edge. 

Place pie on a cooking rack that is placed on top of a cookie sheet lined with foil. My pies inevitably boil over and this saves me the grief of having to clean the oven afterward. 

Bake at 375ยบ F for 1 hour. Cool and serve warm or cold. 
Pie Crust:
1 ¼ cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
Mix together, then add:
1/3 cup shortening
Cut together with flour mixture until pea-sized lumps remain.
In a separate bowl:
1 egg white
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. cold water
Whisk together, then stir into flour-shortening mixture just until moistened. Do not over mix, or it will toughen the crust. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

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