Sour Cherry Pie is The Mid-Summer Pie to Bake!
When I was little I liked those hand-pies made by Hostess and was particularly fond of the cherry. The crust was weird and sweet and I would pick it away and eat just the red filling and there was never enough. Similarly I always asked my kids at Halloween to save me all the sour cherry candies! Just love that flavor. Fresh sour cherries have a very short season; they are not the same as the darker Bing cherries that we eat of hand and the two cannot be substituted for one another in recipes. It is a pet peeve of mine when a recipe calls for “cherries” and doesn’t specify because it is like saying a Granny Smith apple is the same as a McIntosh. It just ain’t so. By the way, the almond extract might seem odd, but it truly enhances cherry flavors while the butter adds richness.
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 pounds sour cherries, stemmed and pitted
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-inch tempered glass pie plate with nonstick spray. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl to blend. Add the cherries and toss to coat. Stir in almond extract, if using.
- Roll out 1 dough disc on a lightly -floured surface to a 12-inch round; transfer to the prepared pie plate, centering it. Scrape the filling into the dough-lined dish and dot with butter. Roll out the second dough disc to a 13-inch round. Cut out rounds with the base of a standard pastry tip to mimic cherry shapes (or make simple slashes in the crust). Drape the dough over the filling, and trim the overhang to ½-inch. Press the edges together to seal; fold the overhang under and crimp decoratively. Place on the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Cool pie plate directly on a rack for at least 1 hour to allow the juices to thicken. Serve warm or at room temperature; the filling will continue to thicken as it cools. The pie is best served the day it is baked but can be stored overnight at room temperature loosely covered with foil.
- If you are using pitted frozen sour cherries you will need 6 cups for this recipe. Let them defrost slightly before using and your baking time might increase so watch carefully.