Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fresh Sour Cherry Pie

Fresh, tart cherries and sugar-- what could be better? I love this simple recipe- no cornstarch gooeyness to get in the way of the fresh, tart cherries, with just a touch of light citrous flavor. And these are all ingredients I have in the pantry... I can pull out a bag of cherries from the freezer and have a pie in the oven in 15 minutes. The shortbread crust isn't traditional, but it's great if you're short on time and counter space, and the sweetness is perfect for the tart cherry filling.

Fresh Sour Cherry Pie with Shortbread Crust

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
(350 degree oven, 7-10 minutes)

2 1/2 cups pitted sour cherries
3/4 cup white sugar
zest of one lemon
3 tablespoons flour
(400 degree oven, 45 minutes)

If you're using frozen cherries, start by defrosting a quart bag in a bowl of warm water.

Place the softened butter and confectioners sugar in the food processor.

Process until creamy- about 30 seconds, if your butter is soft.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Pulse until crumbly and just barely combined. I tapped the pulse button 10 times. It's okay if there is a bit of flour that isn't quite mixed it, it will disappear when you press it into the pan. If you overmix it, it will get tough.

Dump the crumbles into your pie pan (9 inch or so... this one is handmade, so it's not exact!)

Press into the pan with your fingers so it is about 1/4 inch on all sides. It helps to dust your fingers with a little extra flour.

Bake in the oven at 350 for about 7-10 minutes, or until you just start to see a bit of color. Cool slightly.

While the crust is cooking, make your filling. Put your (mostly) defrosted cherries in a bowl.

Add the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Mix to combine.

Pour the filling into the pre-cooked pie crust.

Cover the edges of the crust with tin foil strips, to prevent premature browning. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven when the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool before cutting so that the filling sets up firmly. (Or, if you can't wait... eat right away, and enjoy the runny warm filling with cold vanilla ice cream!)

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