When I saw Deb’s sweet cherry pie, I was in love. I wondered how I could have possibly forgotten about cherry pie–I mean is that a classic or what?
Everybody loves pie, and almost everybody loves cherries, and all together, you’ve got a treat that will be gobbled up in no time. With a delicious, flaky, buttery crust, and that seductively dark, juicy cherry filling, there’s a reason this pie is a classic. There’s one surprising ingredient in the mix though: black pepper! Ironically, you won’t be able to detect it much in the finished pie, however it serves to give the cherries an even sweeter, flavorful intensity than they would have on their own (sort of like balsamic and strawberries).
- 1 pie crust
- ~4 cups Bing cherries
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2/3 cup sugar
- ground black pepper
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp cold butter
- Crust decoration
- bit of milk for wash
- sugar, for decoration
The first thing you should do is prepare your pie crust so it has the time it needs in the fridge.
Begin by tossing any reject cherries and then stem, half, and pit the rest. These suckers are juicy and ready to stain, so wear something that you wouldn’t mind ruining with a red splotch or two.
As you work through the cherries, toss them in a bowl along with the sugar, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, almond extract, and vanilla extract. After a few minutes, the cherries should release a good bit of juice, at which point, you can then work in the cornstarch, stirring it to spread throughout and eliminate any chunks without overbeating and mushing up the cherries.
With both the filling and the base of your crust ready, fill the crust up and warm the oven up to 400°F. Take that remaining tablespoon of butter, cut it up into small chunks, and sprinkle them all over the top of your pie filling.
Now, get to work making the lattice on top of your pie if (you’re feeling adventurous/decorative–otherwise, just put on a flat sheet of dough, crimp the edges, and slice a few steam vents). Brush the dough with a bit of milk, sprinkle on some sugar, and transfer to the oven.
Let this bake at 400 for 25 minutes, after which, you should cut the temperature down to 350°F for another 25 minutes.