Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cherry Pie

I used this recipe (from Better Homes and Gardens) to make pie at Thanksgiving, and found that I absolutely love homemade cherry pie filling. The canned stuff is no comparison whatsoever. So when we volunteered to bring a pie to our family Easter dinner, this one came to mind right away. For Thanksgiving, I had already made about 8 pies already, all double-crust with homemade pastry, and was all pie-crusted-out. So at that point we just used that cheap storebought pie crust from the freezer section of the grocery store. Not this time - we went completely homemade and it makes such a difference! By the way, this was my first lattice crust ever. I think I did pretty good!

Cherry Pie
2 16-oz. cans pitted tart red cherries (water pack)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
Dash salt
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
3-4 drops almond extract
10 drops red food coloring (optional)
Pastry for Double Crust Pie
Milk and sugar (optional)

Drain cherries; reserve 1 cup liquid. In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and salt; stir in reserved cherry liquid. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the cherries, butter or margarine, and almond extract. If desired, stir in food coloring. Let stand while preparing pastry.

Prepare and roll out pastry. Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Turn cherry filling into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut remaining pastry into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Weave strips atop filling to make lattice crust; flute edge. Brush top of pastry with some milk and sprinkle with sugar, if desired. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 25 to 30 minutes more or till crust is golden. Cool pie on rack before serving.

Pastry for Double-Crust Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
6-7 tbsp. cold water

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening till pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle water, 1 tbsp. at a time, over flour mixture; gently toss with fork. Keep adding water and tossing with fork until all is moistened. Form dough into 2 balls. Continue with pie recipe for rolling and baking.

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