Tart cherries, the first of the summer fruits, make one of the prettiest pies of all. It is absolutely delicious hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the perfect pie á la mode, but it’s great all but itself at any temperature.
1 recipe Basic Pie Crust
1 1/2 quarts fresh tart cherries
or 1 quart frozen tart cherries
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar, depending on the tartness of the cherries
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
3 Tablespoons cold butter.
Line your pie plate with one half of the recipe for Basic Pie Crust.
Wash, stem and pit the fresh cherries and place them in a large bowl. Mix the corn starch with 1 1/2 cup of sugar and add to the cherries, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Taste the cherries. If they are too tart, add more of the sugar. Stir in the almond extract if you are using it.
If you are using frozen cherries, be sure to thaw them completely. If the frozen ones have been sweetened, you will need less sugar than what is called for in the recipe. Taste the filling to get the right balance of sweet to tart. Add the corn starch mixed with sugar.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie plate. Dot the top with the butter, cut in little pieces. Cover with the top crust, and fold up the edges to seal in the juices. Crimp decoratively, if you like. Slash steam vents in the top crust.
You can make your cherry pie extra pretty by giving it a latticed top crust. Weave strips of pie crust at right angles to each other over the top of the filling, then fold the edges of the bottom crust up over the ends of the strips. Press together and crimp the edges, creating a raised rim of pie crust to hold in the juices.
Bake the pie in the middle of a pre-heated 410° oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and continue baking for 40 minutes or so. The crust should be golden and the juices should be bubbling up through the holes in the crust.
This recipe is for a nice juicy pie, so be sure to put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of your oven under the pie plate to catch the drips.