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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cherries, Cherries Everywhere!

Happy Hump Day everyone! I've noticed that cherries have been on super sale in the supermarket for the past few weeks - $3.99/lb at A&P and $6.99/lb at Whole Foods - so I think it's time to make use for those cherries before the prices skyrocket! Cherries are really fabulous and freeze very easily, so buy a whole bag and save some for the wintertime. In the meantime, let's do some baking!

Classic Sour Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust
Lori Longbotham

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons (or more) ice water
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups whole pitted sour cherries or dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (if using sour cherries) or 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if using dark sweet cherries)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon (about) milk
  • Vanilla ice cream
For crust:
  1. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form. Add 5 tablespoons ice water; mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out.
For filling:
  1. Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; set aside.
  2. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips from dough round. Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  3. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Hand Pies
Kay Chun


  • One 14-ounce package all-butter puff pastry, thawed and chilled
  • 2 cups cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, beaten

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry on parchment paper to a 14-by-12-inch rectangle and cut into eight 3-by-3 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the cherries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and cinnamon. Brush the pastry edges of the rectangles with the beaten egg wash. Mound the filling in the center of each pastry and fold the dough over; press to seal and crimp decoratively. Brush the pies with beaten egg and make a small slit in the top of each one. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden.

Warm Skillet Sour Cherries with Vanilla Ice Cream
Gourmet July 2005

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 lb fresh or thawed frozen sour cherries, pitted (2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • Premium vanilla ice cream
  • Accompaniment: bakery butter cookies
  1. Rub together sugar and lemon juice in a 12-inch heavy skillet with your fingertips until mixture resembles wet sand. Heat over moderately high heat, swirling skillet slowly, until sugar is melted and pale golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add butter and swirl skillet until incorporated, about 30 seconds (mixture will bubble up). Add cherries, swirling skillet to coat, and bring to a boil (cherries will exude liquid; caramel will harden). Cook cherries, swirling skillet, until caramel is dissolved, 5 to 8 minutes. Pour through a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl, then return liquid to skillet and boil until reduced to about 3/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, then add cherries and kirsch. Return to stove and boil 30 seconds.
  2. Spoon warm cherries into shallow bowls and top with scoops of ice cream.
Cooks' Note: Cherries can be cooked 3 hours ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature. Bring to a boil just before serving.

Happy baking!

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