Cheery Cherry Pie

Cheery Cherry Pie

When I was a kid, my Grandma & Grandpa had a tart pie cherry tree in their yard.  My Dad would pick a whole bunch of cherries every year and make delicious cherry pies out of them.  They were the best pies I ever had.  By the time I was old enough to cook, Grandma and Grandpa had moved out of that house, and I don’t know anybody else with a pie cherry tree.   So, since I hate canned, store bought, sweet cherry pie filling, I never, ever made a cherry pie.

I have looked high and low for these cherries at fruit stands, farmer’s markets, and the good ‘ol grocery store.  Little did I know that you can buy these tart unsweetened cherries in a CAN.  Tada!

I was so excited to find this, I immediately went out and bought a couple of cans and set out to make this gorgeous and delicious pie.  Now, it wasn’t *quite* as good as the pies my dad used to make.  It’s probably a combination of my dad not being the one to make it, and the cherries coming from a can instead of fresh.  But it was pretty darn close.

1 1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 14.5 oz cans Red Tart Pie Cherries, drained, reserve juice from one can


2 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-chilled All-Vegetable Shortening
6 to 10 tablespoons ice cold water

Preheat the oven to 400°

First, make the crust.  Put flour and salt in medium mixing bowl.

Cut in chilled shortening cubes into flour mixture, using a pastry blender or a fork, in an up and down chopping motion, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some small pea-sized pieces remaining.

Sprinkle half the maximum recommended amount of ice cold water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and draw flour from bottom of bowl to the top, distributing moisture evenly into flour. Press chunks down to bottom of bowl with fork. Add more water by the tablespoon, until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together.

Test dough for proper moistness by squeezing a marble-sized ball of dough in your hand. If it holds together firmly, do not add any additional water. If the dough crumbles, add more water by the tablespoonful, until dough is moist enough to form a smooth ball when pressed together.

Divide dough in two equal balls. Flatten balls into 1/2-inch thick round disks.  Roll dough from center outward with steady pressure on a lightly floured work surface until you have two circles a little larger than your pie pans.  Fit one disk into a 9″ pie pan, and set the other to the side.

Prepare the filling. 

Drain the cherries and reserve the juice from only one can.

In a saucepan, stir the cherry juice into the combined mixture of the cornstarch and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.  Gently stir in cherries.  Remove from heat.

Pour filling into pastry lined pie pan. Dot with butter or margarine. Place the second pie crust on top.

Adjust crust, seal and vent. Bake 45 minutes or until crust browns and filling begins to bubble. If necessary, cover edges with aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning. Cool pie several hours to allow filling to thicken before slicing.



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