Friday, July 4, 2014

Twice-Baked Sour Cherry Pie

Happy Independence Day!  I hope you all get to eat good food today ;)  I'm making this sour cherry pie because my son and I picked sour cherry and sweet cherry a few days ago.  We went to an orchard in Sherwood on a hot day which I kinda regret it but it's the only day of this week that I could go and I really wanted to make this pie for today.  Cherries are starting to show up in the market and anywhere; sour cherries have a short season so don't miss it while it's available.  We didn't end up with too much of cherries, but it's enough to munch, for pie filling, and for freezing.  I also put cherries in my smoothies, oh, it's so good!  

The technique in pre-baking the crust is slightly different than what I used to make.  The crust is baked all the way in the beginning and then it's baked again with the filling.  You just have to watch out the rims of the crust that it doesn't get too dark.  I normally place a pie shield once I notice it starting to go brown.  This crust stays crisp after baking, which I really like; the filling's sweetness level is just right and the flavor is good.  I also had fun making stars for the upper crust.  Since it's the 4th of July, it's only fitting that stars decorate my pie today :)

Twice-Baked Sour Cherry Pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie

1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, more for rolling out dough
⅜ teaspoon kosher salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons instant tapioca
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 pounds sour cherries (about 6 cups), rinsed and pitted
1 tablespoon kirsch or brandy
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

To make dough:  In bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour and salt just to combine.  Add butter and pulse until chickpea-size pieces form.  Add 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until mixture just comes together.  Separate dough into 2 disks, one using ⅔ of dough, the other using the remaining.  Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days) before rolling out and baking.

Heat oven to 425F.  Place larger dough disk on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12-inch circle, about ⅜-inch thick.  Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.  Line dough with foil and weigh it down with pie weights.  Bake until crust is light golden brown, about 30 minutes.

While pie crust is baking, prepare filling.  In bowl of a food processor, combine sugar, tapioca, and cinnamon (use more tapioca if you prefer a thicker, more solid filling, and less if you like a looser, juicier filling).  Run the motor until tapioca is finely ground.  Place cherries in a bowl and add sugar and tapioca mixture.  Drizzle in kirsch or brandy and toss gently to combine.

When pie crust is ready, transfer it to a wire rack to cool slightly and reduce heat to 375F.  Remove foil and weights.  Scrape cherry filling to pie crust.

Place smaller disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it ⅜-inch thick.  Use a star cookie cutter (or several star cookie cutters of different sizes) to cut out stars of dough.  Arrange stars on top of cherry filling in a pattern of your choice.

Brush top crust with cream and sprinkle generously with Demerara sugar.  Bake until crust is dark golden brown and filling begins to bubble, 50 minutes to 1 hour.  Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours, allowing filling to set before serving.


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