Late Summer – Cherry Pie

Cherry pie is dark and intensely sweet. Maybe just what you need as the evenings are getting darker, but still warm enough to sit outside to watch the stars come out.

As far as pie fillings go, I’m more into balancing sweets and sours, but I thought I might see what some sweet cherries might do once enrobed in sugar and crusted with buttery goodness. However, if you wanted a little tartness, Sarah suggested throwing in some cranberries to give the cherries some competition. I think I will do that next time, although peach pie is also on the to-do list…

so many pies, so little time…

I used a basic pie crust (Smitten Kitchen’s is excellent and has handy tips) for the base, and the crumble in another Smitten Kitchen recipe for the topping. I’m really a fan of adding almonds to things, and I’ll do that again for sure.

Here’s the recipes together, as I merged them:

Crust:
2 1/2 cup white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (very cold)

(I could write instructions for this part, but if you’ve done this before, you know what you’re doing, and if you haven’t, Deb’s description is what you really want to read)

Filling:
4 cups pitted fresh cherries (although if your cherries are on the sweet side of things, I suggest using 2 cups cherries and 2 cups of a sour fruit like raspberries, blackberries, cranberries… you get the idea)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup to 3/4 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp almond extract

Stir all these things together. In a pie dish, place the crust and then pour the filling inside. Then add the crumble topping:

Crumble Topping
2/3 cup oats (I didn’t grind them into a flour, but you could)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup almonds, ground (or use almond meal)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the melted butter. (It might also be a great idea to make a doubled or tripled batch of this crumble and keep some in the freezer, and if you already have pie crusts stashed away, you can make a pie with very little notice.) Sprinkle this topping over the fruit, creating a glorious mountain of butter crumbs.

Preheat that oven to 400 F, insert pie, wait until it’s bubbling and golden-crispy on top. Then remove it and let it cool for as long as you can possibly wait. For me, that’s usually 10 minutes or less…

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