Pie Of The Month - Sour Cherry Pie In An Almond Crust - Everyday Baking Blog at Allrecipes.com - 119464

Everyday Baking

Pie of the Month - Sour Cherry Pie in an Almond Crust 
Aug. 18, 2009 3:09 pm 
Updated: Aug. 17, 2013 10:42 pm
What with vacations, summer colds, and temperatures that made my kitchen hot enough to boil lead, I fell behind on my pie-baking schedule. This month, I made a Sour Cherry Pie in an Almond Crust.
I based my pie off of the Cherry Pie III recipe.
First of all, I made the pastry. I followed the recipe, but I also added one cup of ground toasted almonds to the flour (using 1/4 cup of the flour from the recipe to help grind the almonds finely). I think the almond flavor complements cherries so well. I used 2/3 of a cup of butter and 1/3 of a cup of lard as the shortening.
While the dough was chilling, I prepared the filling. We didn't get enough cherries from our tree for a whole pie this year, so I used frozen sour cherries—but I’ve pitted several pies' worth of cherries. If you’re lucky enough to live in a region that grows sour cherries, I highly recommend going the fresh cherry route. It is, like so much of home baking, a labor of love…and the end result is so good. A cherry pitter makes fairly quick work of the job.
Following other reviewers' recommendations, I doubled the amount of cherries called for in the recipe for a total of four cups. I kept the amounts of sugar, cornstarch, butter, and almond extract the same, though, and for my tastes, the filling still might’ve still been a little too sweet.
Here's where I deviated from the recipe instructions: I didn't cook the filling. The main reason why you cook a fruit filling is to boil off extra liquid and—most importantly—activate the starch. If the pie doesn't bake long enough or get hot enough in the oven for the filling to actually boil, the thickener can't do its job properly. Cooking the filling on the stovetop ensures that you won’t end up with a runny pie. I chose to omit this step because a) my filling wasn't particularly juicy and b) I like to bake pies as long as I can: I want to see bubbling filling and browning crust before I take it out of the oven.
I rolled out the bottom crust, lined the pie tin, covered the crust with plastic wrap, and returned it to the fridge to rest while I rolled out the top crust. I roll the top crust out in a circle about 2 inches bigger in diameter than my pie tin. If you cut that circle of dough into strips, you have just the right amount and length of dough to weave your lattice. I used a crimped pastry wheel to cut my strips. You can use a ruler to keep the strips straight, or you can do it freehand if you don't mind a wobble here and there.
When the pastry had chilled for another half hour, I scooped my filling into the pie shell and began the lattice top. I start with by making a big X across the pie using my two longest dough strips. I add more strips, folding back every other perpendicular strip so that I keep the pattern straight. Here's where having chilled dough matters: you're handling the dough strips a lot, and if they get too soft, they can stretch, get gummy, and break as you work.
I trimmed the overhanging lattice with kitchen shears, folded the ends under the bottom crust, and pressed lightly to seal. I baked the pie in a preheated oven on a preheated baking sheet (so the bottom crust browns). I used a hot oven (400°) for the first twenty minutes, and then lowered the temperature to 375° for another thirty or forty minutes—my pie took longer to bake because of the frozen cherries. I covered the edges of the crust with foil after about thirty minutes—the crust was plenty dark but the filling still wasn’t bubbly, so I kept on baking. When the pie was golden brown and bubbling, I pulled it out of the oven, brushed on a glaze for shine [the same water-golden syrup glaze I used on the strawberry rhubarb pie] and sprinkled toasted sliced almonds around the edge of the crust. After another minute or two in the oven, it was done. When it was cool, I dusted the edges with powdered sugar.
Weaving the lattice: start by making a big X out of the two longest strips of dough.
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Weaving the lattice: over, under, over, under....
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Fold back every other vertical strip when you lay down a horizontal strip of dough - it helps with t
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Finished lattice
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Cherry pitter
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Closeup of lattice strips - I used a crimped pastry wheel to make the cuts.
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Sour Cherry Pie with Toasted Almond Crust
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Closeup of cherry pie slice
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Aug. 18, 2009 8:59 pm
This looks heavenly. Unfortunately you have posted this while we are under another heat advisory...so, no I won't be making anything like this until the weather calms down again and I feel like confining myself to the warmest area of the house. Might just be September at this rate.
Aug. 19, 2009 10:31 am
Interesting, I just realized I have nerver had cherry pie before. It looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Aug. 19, 2009 11:45 am
I like the almond idea, both the flavors and the crunch factor! How did it taste? Could I use a pizza wheel cutter instead of a pastry wheel?
Aug. 19, 2009 11:49 am
Thanks for the nice comments! I like making lattice-topped cherry pies for my dad, because his mother used to make them. Jenny: sure, you can use a pizza wheel or even a paring knife to cut the lattice strips. Just make sure it's sharp.
Aug. 19, 2009 5:33 pm
That looks so delicious! Makes me want to get the sour cherries out of the freezer and start baking!
Aug. 23, 2009 4:32 pm
Thanks for the wonderful step-by-step photos!.. I am very much a visual learner and hope to try making a beautiful pie like yours one day! :)
Aug. 24, 2009 5:41 pm
I'm looking to make a cherry lattice pie for an upcoming county fair so thanks for the info on doing the lattice
Sep. 14, 2009 8:45 pm
OMG cherry pie is my favorite and I hope to have the patience to make my own from scratch sometime.
Sep. 18, 2009 1:46 pm
That looks gorgeous! I love making pies and other pastries too... it's pretty much a passion of mine. I always had trouble doing lattice strips and have it look right though. I'm going to try again.
Aug. 17, 2013 10:42 pm
can I use regular cherries?
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About Me
I'm proud to say I've been an Allrecipes employee for 9 years, combining my love of the written word with my passion for food. I've worked in publishing and in the food service industry, both "front of the house" and back. I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America's Baking & Pastry program and have worked as a baker and pastry cook in Wisconsin, for a season at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and at bakeries in Seattle. Twitter handle: @F_Crouter
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My baking career really began when I was in first grade and my family was living in Germany. Every morning my father and I would walk to the local bakery for bread and an afternoon treat, like Apfelkuchen. I love dark sour breads, baking anything with yeast in it, and anything that requires hours of patient work, like croissant and Danish doughs.
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Food we ate while camping. Animal pancakes. My mom's meatloaf. My grandfather's breakfasts.
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I think a baker's real triumph is getting to work at 4 am, day in and day out, so that there are beautiful pastries and loaves of bread on display when the bakery opens three hours later. A personal triumph was making my own wedding cake.
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Heavens! Too shameful to list: all that wasted dough, those burnt nuts, spilled milk to cry over....
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