Cherry Pie Simplicity

Sometimes it’s nice to have an easy go-to recipe for a dessert you know will always taste good and please most everyone. Some people jones for apple (the traditionalists), some for banana cream (the crazies), and some for rhubarb (the adventurists). But to me (a mix of all three), nothing beats a red, tart, cherry pie.

What’s great about this recipe is that the added cornstarch will keep the filling from leaking out of the crust when it’s cut, but won’t affect the taste. This recipe also uses store-bought pie crusts, which dramatically cuts down on cooking time.

Equipment:

  • Though I didn’t use this in the photo because I was rushed, I suggest using this slightly pretentious, but oh-so-lovely, pie dish from Emile Henry. Trust me, it’s worth the price not only for the look, but for the perfect crust it produces.
  • For this pie I also used the fall leaves pie crust cutters from Williams-Sonoma for the leaf decoration. While they’re currently not in stock because it’s summer, they always come back in stock in the fall/winter. Besides, any kind of fun cutter shape will work!

Ingredients:

  • (2) 9-inch frozen pie crusts, thawed
  • 2 tbl. unsalted butter
  • 1 (20 oz) can pitted sour cherries + another 8-10 oz.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract (can use vanilla instead)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. red food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Drain cherries, reserving 1 cup of liquid.

In a medium-large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the cherry liquid and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 min. Mixture will thicken. When thickened, add butter, extract, food coloring and cherries. Cover and refrigerate.

Take 1 9-inch pie crust and roll out until flat, about 1/4-inch thick. Cut 1/2-inch wide strips.

Pour cooled filling into 2nd 9-inch pie crust. Place the 1/2-inch strips in a lattice pattern on top of the pie (if you want to cheat, like I did, place the strips horizontally and then vertically). Place optional crust designs on top. Brush the strips and decorations on top of the pie and edge of the pie with lightly beaten egg white.

Bake 15 min. at 425, then 20 min. at 325 or until the top is golden brown (if any parts of the crust start getting too dark before the rest of the pie is cooked, esp. the dough designs, cover loosely with foil). Let cool and serve. Good for about a week in the fridge.

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