Midnight Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie Insta

Matthew has been begging lately for a fruit pie, and while I love baking pie, to be honest, fruit pies kind of intimidate me. This makes no sense, I admit, because fruit pies are usually some kind of stir, throw in a shell, and bake routine. The old fashioned pies I love best are often more complicated beasts. Still, something about fruit pies worries me. Is it the added second crust on the top, worked into a lattice or perfectly-slotted top crust? Is it the question of whether the fruit needs to be cooked before entering the crust? Is it the worry of too much juice or water? Or is it the ever-confusing problem of whether to use canned, fresh, or frozen fruit? Maybe the real reason fruit pies are so daunting is that there are so many questions and so many ways to make them! Nevertheless, I accepted the challenge to make a new fruit pie. And now that I have, it was totally worth it. This marks the third type of fruit pie I’ve made, after blueberry and apple. For this one, we used fresh dark cherries (with pits), and we amended a recipe we found online to suit our purposes. It resulted in a deliciously sweet, luscious cherry pie with full, round cherries; a flavorful, juicy filling; and a sugary, golden crust. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

A few tips to make your baking easier:

-To pit cherries, we took a tip from a recipe we found on Inspired Taste. If you don’t have a pitter, you can use a chopstick. Matthew was quite adept at this! And it kept our cherries mostly intact.

-Use the two-crust roll-out pie crusts you can buy in any well-stocked grocery store. It should be a 9-inch crust, and my suggestion is to keep it refrigerated before use, not frozen, as it can be tough to defrost these.

-I left out a few ingredients, including 1/4 tsp. of almond extract. Almond extract just isn’t something I use in a lot of recipes, so it’s an added expense to buy for such a small amount in one recipe. I also left out 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter, because the pie didn’t need the extra fat, and also because unsalted butter is more expensive than the kind I buy. Totally up to you if you’d like to add both!

 

Ingredients:

1 box of 2 roll-out pie crusts (keep refrigerated)

4 cups of fresh cherries (with pits removed, if applicable)

1/4 cup cornstarch

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1/8 tsp. salt

For crust topping: 1 egg yolk; 1 tbsp. heavy whipping cream; 1 tbsp. sugar

Cherry Pie Prebaked

Directions:

  1. Pit the cherries. This is best done at a table where you can sit down and work easily. Use your cherry pitter or a chopstick to push the pit out. You will need 4 cups of fresh cherries, which for us equated to about 1 pound. Put them in a bowl and set aside for now.
  2. In another bowl, stir together the cornstarch, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Add the cherries and toss carefully. (I used a soft plastic spatula for this.) Be careful not to pour all the extra cherry juice in when you add the cherries.
  3. Remove your 2 pie crusts from the box and unwrap one, then carefully roll it out onto a glass or metal pie pan. Press it gently into the pan.
  4. Pour the cherry filling into the crust.
  5. Roll out the second pie crust on top of the first. Use your kitchen scissors or a knife to trim excess pie shell off the sides. Fold the top crust’s edges under the bottom crust and press together, then use your fingers to create a fluted crust edge. (The original recipe suggested using your index finger to press the dough in between the first two knuckles of your other hand, all the way around the edges. This worked alright for me, but was a little tough to master.)
  6. Pop in the freezer for 5 minutes. Go ahead and preheat your oven at this time to 400.
  7. Prepare a quick egg wash for the topping: Mix the egg yolk with the heavy whipping cream, then use a pastry brush to spread it over the top crust of the pie. (If you don’t have a pastry brush, which many people don’t, you can use a spoon to carefully sprinkle it all over the pie, then spread it a little with the back of the spoon.) One important note: you will NOT need all the egg wash. If you use too much of it, it will start to pool in certain spots on your pie which will make it less attractive. This wasn’t mentioned in the original recipe, so I was concerned I was supposed to use it all, but I learned the pie didn’t need it.
  8. Sprinkle the top of the pie with the 1 tbsp. of sugar, then cut four slits in the top as shown. Place the pie on a baking sheet so that any juices won’t boil over into your oven.
  9. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350, and bake for another 40 minutes. The crust should be a beautiful gold color and the filling should be bubbling out of the top a bit. I recommend baking for an extra 5-10 minutes if you’re willing to try, because my bottom crust could have used a little more time to cook, but that’s my personal preference.
  10. Cool for 2-3 hours, or preferably overnight, before cutting. Enjoy!

Serves: 7-8

Cherry Pie Fini

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Easy Latticed Blueberry Pie (with canned or fresh berries)

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Unlike most food blogs, we like to get down to the recipe asap. So here it is, with our comments below. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Two prepared roll-out frozen pie crusts
  • 4 cups of blueberries (fresh or canned)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • A dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten in a cup with 1 tablespoon water

Instructions:

  1. Spray or butter a pie pan. Lay and shape one roll-out pie shell into the pan. Take the other crust and cut it into strips for later.
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the milk and flour, then brown sugar and cinnamon. Add blueberries (if canned, be sure to drain completely) and stir. Pour into bottom crust.
  4. Take the strips of dough and weave them into a lattice top on top of the pie. Pinch the edges to seal them together. Brush the crust lightly all over with the egg mixture and sprinkle it with brown sugar.
  5. Put the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and move pie to top rack. Cover the rim of the pie crust with foil to make sure it doesn’t get burnt. Continue to bake at 375 until crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. (This takes about 20 minutes.)
  6. Let the pie cool to set and thicken before serving, so the pieces will come out whole.
  7. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Molly’s take: I adapted this recipe from the original found on http://shewearsmanyhats.com/easy-blueberry-pie-recipe/. At first, it was way more complicated than I wanted for an easy pie. After making the pie, I realized it could be a lot simpler. The original recipe says instead of immediately baking the pie, you can also freeze it for up to two months in plastic wrap and a large plastic Ziplock freezer bag. I haven’t tried this, but it could be good to have on hand! All in all, the pie is delicious and my blueberry-loving husband couldn’t stop eating it. 🙂 Out of all the pies I’ve made, it was one of the easiest, even with the lattice on top.

Matthew’s take: A basic blueberry pie is one of my favorite desserts. It walks the line between decadent dessert you can top with ice cream and dessert that can pass for a breakfast option. This blueberry pie recipe is as good as any I’ve had, and we made it with canned berries. Making it with fresh berries in season would put the pie over the top. The lattice crust was a very nice touch, both for taste and for presentation. This is one of those recipes that could be replicated with other berries. If you like berry pies like I do, this one gets an A+ for presentation and an A for taste.