#88 cherry pie

It’s official!  Pie is now a permanent family favorite around here now, and with my oh-so-flawless perfect pie crust, I am confident in the results whenever I try a new pie filling.  This time was no surprise, either.  Cherries have a magically rich & savory touch that bring such a pie to life, both visually and in taste!

Traditionally, cherry pie is made with tart cherries, rather than sweet ones.  What’s the difference you ask?  I wouldn’t be able to tell you to be honest, cherries are somewhat of a new thing for me…and I would love to talk to a cherry expert sometime, since I am limited to the seasonal fruit I see here in Germany at the supermarket for a rather expensive price per kilo in comparison to many other fruits found here.

Good ole cherry pie is mostly associated with North America…its German counterpart, Donauwelle or Schneewittchentorte, is a traditional sheet cake popular in this part of the world, made of layers of plain & chocolate pound cake combined to have a wavy border between them, containing sour cherries and topped with buttercream & chocolate glaze.  Do I have you wishing you were here right now, only a walking distance from the delicious corner bakery?  We’ll be indulging in some German pastry recipes, soon, I promise!

Cherry pie’s popularity runs high in midsummer, with the traditional annual harvest coinciding with the grand Fourth of July celebrations.  The fruit has been consumed throughout the world since prehistoric times, however they arrived in North America early in the settlement of Brooklyn, New York when the region was under Dutch sovereignty.  Strictly from temperate-latitude climates and needing the cold weather as a requirement for the seedlings to emerge in the spring, it’s no wonder that a little me growing up in tropical Honduras never got to see one at all!

Michigan claims to be the “Cherry Capital of the World” – hosting a National Cherry festival and making the world’s largest cherry pie.  But enough about the beautiful, shiny red song-inspiring fruit!  On to the pie!  It’s often eaten with a delicious whipped cream topping or ice cream, and customarily decorated with a lovely lattice top, perfect for setting a lovely red, white, & blue table for your Independence Day celebrations!

The Most Perfect Pie Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups (190g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 8 tablespoons of butter, cold
  • 3 tablespoons of water, cold

My very first post included this simple yet perfect pie crust recipe, only because I was absolutely sure, after much trial & error, that I had finally gotten to the ultimate fool-proof pie crust recipe for everyone who needed a stress-free & simple ingredient blend!    Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl or food processor and let the dough form, kneading and punching it until it’s uniform and looks just about ready.  Give it a little disk form shape, wrap it in see-though wrap, and place it in the fridge for at least an hour.  Easy peasy!

For the Cherry Filling

  • 5 cups (1000g) of fresh cherries, OR 4-1/2 cups (800g) of canned or bottled cherries
  • 3/4 cups (150g) of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the dough.  Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).  Pour the canned cherries into a strainer set over a bowl.  Shake the fruit lightly to drain.  Measure 3-1/2 cups of the cherries and 1/2 cup of juice and combine in a bowl with the sugar, cornstarch, and fresh lemon juice.

Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes, then pour into the bottom crust.  Dot with the unsalted butter.  The hard part starts with the delicate cover for the pie.  The internet has wonderful ways of creating beautiful pricked and vented tops crust, and if you are feeling inspired I bet you can decorate a lovely, beautiful pie!  I decided to go with the traditional lattice top, which is hard work in itself, webbing the intricate design over the pie delicately intertwining the dough strips and making sure to keep the pattern even! I felt so proud with my beautiful pie results!

Bake the pie for 30 minutes.  Slip a baking sheet beneath the pan, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C), and bake until thick juices bubble through the vents, about 25 more minutes.  Let cool completely on a rack, preferably on your window sill!  The smells coming out of your kitchen will be glorious!

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