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Photo by: Beth Galton
Fresh cherry pie is one of the treats of summer. May, June and July are the best months to bake a cherry pie. From early May through July, look for the sweet golden cherries with red blushing color known as Royal Ann or Queen Anne. In late June and July, try the tart red Montmorency cherries. Both kinds of cherries make great pies ... just adjust the sugar.
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Divide and shape the pastry into 2 equal disks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk into a large circle, 1/8 inch thick, Trim one round to a 16-inch circle and the second to a 13-inch circle. Fit the larger round into the pie plate, leaving a 1½-inch overhang. Brush the shell with 1 tablespoon of the cream and refrigerate. Transfer the remaining pastry round to the baking sheet and refrigerate.
2. In a large bowl, mix the ¼ to 1½, cups of sugar (depending on sweetness of cherries), the cornstarch, tapioca, and salt. Toss with the cherries, lemon juice, and almond extract, plus a few drops of food coloring, if you wish. Spoon into the shell. Dot with the butter.
3. To make the lattice crust, with a fluted pastry wheel, cut the remaining pastry round into 12 strips, 1 inch wide. Weave a lattice top over the cherries and flute the edge (see Lattice Crust in Notes). Brush the lattice with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake the pie for 50 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Serve at room temperature and store in the refrigerator.
Sweet Cherry Pie: Substitute 2¼ pounds fresh sweet Queen Anne cherries for the sour cherries. Reduce the sugar in the filling to 1 cup.
Blackberry Lattice Pie: Substitute 6 cups ripe fresh blackberries for the cherries and 1 tablespoon of creme de cassis for the almond extract.
Create an old-fashioned lattice by weaving strips of pastry together. Roll out two circles of dough, 1/8 inch thick. Shape the bottom crust into the pie plate, leaving a 1½-inch overhang. From the other circle, cut out 10 to 12 strips, 1 inch wide (try a fluted pastry wheel). Now start weaving. Finish with a fluted edge.
1. Lay half of the strips evenly across the top of the pie in one direction, then fold back every other strip halfway. Place one of the remaining strips across the center of the pie. Replace the folded strips.
2. Fold back the alternate strips, place a second strip crosswise, about ¾ inch from the first one, and replace the folded ones.
3. Repeat the weaving, using the remaining strips, until a lattice crisscrosses the top of the pie. Flute the rim with a fancy flute or a rope edge, then glaze the crust and bake as the recipe directs.
Twist pastry strips as you place them at right angles on the pie.
1/9 pie=457 calories, 16 g fat (10 saturated), 76 mg cholesterol; 76 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 206 mg sodium, 1g fiber