Believe it or not, I have never made a cherry pie… until now! On New Year’s Day, my son-in-law baked a beautiful cherry pie for dessert – honestly, it was one of the most exquisite looking pies I have ever seen! The lattice crust was cut with precision, cooked to a golden brown and shimmering with sugar. Don’t worry if you have never made a lattice top before. It looks difficult, but there are many tutorials and videos on the internet to help you. The filling was the perfect consistency – juicy and just thick enough to be able to remove a perfect slice. A bright burst of tartness from the cherries and the power flavor duo of almond and cherries was divine. A work of art and a taste sensation – truly pie perfection!
Donnie’s Tart Cherry Pie
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4-5 tablespoons ice water, as needed
- 6 cups (2 pounds) frozen tart cherries
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash
- Turbinado or sanding sugar for sprinkling
- Combine flour, almond flour, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor and pulse to combine.
- Spread butter pieces evenly over surface. Pulse until mixture forms pea-sized pieces.
- Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of water and pulse until dough just starts to come together. You may not need all the water.
- Dump dough onto a lightly floured work surface and work together to form a ball. Divide in half. Flatten into disks, wrap well in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or overnight).
- Remove one disk and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes or more to soften slightly for easier rolling.
- Roll out on a lightly floured surface (I use a Silpat mat) to a 12” circle. Ease into a 9” pie pan. Trim the edges (depends on whether you want to crimp or not) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix the frozen cherries with ½ cup sugar and thaw completely.
- Drain the thawed cherries in a fine mesh strainer or colander and RESERVE the juices. Measure reserved juices. You should have ¼ to ½ cup. Do not use more than ½ cup. Put the juice in a saucepan.
- Whisk ½ cup sugar (less if you prefer a less sweet pie) and cornstarch into reserved juice, until no lumps remain.
- Add the drained cherries and lemon juice to the saucepan and stir to combine.
- Cook over medium high heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, one to two minutes after it begins to boil. Stir and scrape the bottom and sides of pan as needed to prevent sticking.
- Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Set aside to cool. You can also refrigerate the filling to cool more quickly. Do not add hot filling to your pie crust.
- To make a solid top, roll out the second pie crust to a 12” circle.
- Spoon cooled filling into chilled crust. Cover with top crust. Trim and crimp edges, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Cut steam vents in the top of the crust and refrigerate while the oven is heating to 375 degrees convection.
- Bake until crust is golden brown, and filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes.
- If you prefer a lattice crust, cut your second 12” circle of pie crust into 14 – ½ inch wide strips.
- Arrange half of the strips vertically across the top of the pie, with the longest strips in the center.
- Gently fold every other strip back onto itself a little past center. Place one long strip horizontal to the other strips across the center of the pie.
- Unfold the folded strips to lie flat on top of the horizontal strip.
- Fold back the strips that weren’t folded previously, place another horizontal strip, then unfold again.
- Repeat until the lattice is complete. Press down edges of lattice lightly to adhere. Trim to the edge of the pie pan. Brush lattice with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Follow baking instructions above.