My husband and I have become pretty famous among our friends for our sour cherry pie. (And jam, but that’s a story for another time.) I love this pie, and I love to serve it on Fourth of July weekend. It’s so darn American, isn’t it?
Here’s a video where I show you my no-fail pie crust recipe, and my very special method of pitting cherries. Oh, and the oven almost explodes, too. Good times.
Hope you enjoy the video, and please — if you make the pie, comment here and let me know how it turned out! I’ll be watching the blog all weekend, so if you have questions, post them here. Happy Fourth!
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After the jump, the recipes for No-Fail Pie Crust and Sour Cherry Pie.
No-Fail Pie Crust
Adapted from Saveur magazine, which said it was their adaptation of a pie from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “The Pie and Pastry Bible” (Scribner, 1998).
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
9 tablespoons cold cream cheese
12 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ice water
Splash of milk
Sugar for sprinkling
Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces and put on a plate. Put the plate in the fridge. Place flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Use your fingers to pull chunks of cream cheese from the bar and throw into flour mixture. Pulse a couple of times until the mixture begins to resemble coarse meal. Add the cold butter to the bowl of the processor. Pulse until mixture is flecked with pea-sized pieces of butter. Sprinkle in vinegar and ice water, pulse a couple of more times. Pinch the mixture to see that it holds together. Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured surface. It will not have come completely together yet. Quickly knead dough until smooth. Divide dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other, flatten each into a disk and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
Roll larger dish onto a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch round, then ease into a 9-inch pie pan. Stir filling, then transfer to pastry. Roll remaining dough out into a 10-inch round. You may either cut into lattice or bake as a top crust. Beat egg with milk and brush over the top crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Sour Cherry Pie
1 recipe pie crust
4 cups sour cherries, washed, stemmed and pitted
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon butter, optional
Make the pie crust. Line a 9-inch pie pan with it.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine cherries, sugar, flour, almond extract, vanilla extract and vinegar in a bowl. Dot with butter, if you like. (I never do.)
Cover with a top crust and seal edges. Cut slits in the center to allow steam to escape. Brush it with the egg-milk mixture, if you like.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until pie filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
Yield: 1 pie.