Over the weekend I was inspired to make a 4th of July cherry pie. While apple would be the all-American choice, I like the patriotic color of cherry. I checked the tried and true “plaid cookbook,” called my Mom, refused to add red food coloring to my food, and came up with my recipe for 4th of July Cherry Pie:
Cherry Pie Filling
1 16-oz bag frozen pitted dark sweet cherries (I shop at Trader Joe’s)
juice from thawed cherries + cherry juice = 1/3 cup cherry juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbs softened butter
1/2 tsp almond extract
Zest from 1/4 orange
Additional flour, salt, shortening for pie crust
Pour frozen cherries into a bowl to thaw. When cherries are thawed, reserve cherry juice and add more cherry juice to equal 1/3 cup juice.
Whisk together sugar + flour + salt. With a fork, mash in softened butter. Add and stir cherry juice + almond extract + orange zest. Toss in thawed cherries.
Set aside cherry mixture to macerate. Meanwhile, make pie crust…
Homemade Pie Crust
Sift together: 1+1/2 cups flour + 1/2 tsp salt.
Cut in: 1/2 cup shortening.
Add and toss lightly with a fork to mix dough: 4-5 Tbs cold water, adding and mixing 1 Tbs at a time.
Gather dough into a ball and knead a couple times. Do not over-handle the dough. Form dough into a ball; cut ball in half; form each half into a disk; wrap each disk in plastic wrap; refrigerate to chill.
Roll one disk of dough onto floured board; roll out enough that dough will hang over edge of pie dish. Roll pie dough onto rolling pin and lift gently to transfer rolled dough to pie dish.
Give cherry pie filling a stir and pour it into pie shell.
Roll second disk of dough onto floured board; slice dough into long strips with a sharp knife or pizza wheel; lay strips of dough in a lattice design over pie filling; fold ends of dough strips under and crimp top and bottom pie crusts together to form edge. Try to make it pretty, but don’t worry; it will be delicious.
Loosely cover edge of pie crust with foil to protect from burning. Bake at 425* for 40 minutes. Let pie cool completely on a wire rack to set filling before slicing.
Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream. Definitely eat leftover pie for breakfast – that’s why there’s no photo of my weekend creation.
A couple notes: 1) When I was ready to learn how to make pie crust, my Mom came over and made it with me. It’s best if an experienced baker will help on the first try, and then it takes practice to make a pretty pie crust. 2) For additional cherry juice, I pour from a jar of maraschino cherries which I have in the ‘fridge for making Super Cutie Cherry Muffins (February 2017 archives). 3) For orange zest in July, I froze orange rinds in quarters when I peeled oranges in the winter season, but you can buy oranges any time of year.
Up next: the Sage hubby requested a blueberry pie…