Sour Cherry Pie

Sour Cherry Pie

March 10, 2015

When I was a kid, everything cherry red was the bomb: cherry lifesavers, cherry popsicles, cherry nibs, cherry jelly beans… As I “matured” I realized that these “cherry” candies were just fake cherry flavor, sugar and red food coloring and wasn’t cherry at all. I’m embittered by it. In all this time, I’ve never had a cherry pie. Never. I’m emphasizing this void because I’m gob smacked at how delicious cherry pie is. I took my first bite and immediately thought that THIS is the cherry of my childhood. Rick very gallantly offered to save me from doom by taking the crust off my hands, but I gave him my back. I felt emotionally protective of my pie. With my mouthful, I mumbled that this cherry pie is better than the caramel buns. I had two pieces at 11 points each, or let’s say ¼ of the pie. Then I watched American Idol and went to bed.

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Instructions

SPECIAL PIE EQUIPMENT

PASTRY

  • Here’s what I think of my favourite Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust. Did you miss it? It’s my favourite. The recipe always works, and never fails. I think the apple cider vinegar is the secret because it relaxes the dough.
Three wild guesses what this is a picture of.
Three wild guesses what this is a picture of.
Pastry in crumbs.
Pastry in crumbs.
Kneading it together.
Kneading it together.
  • Curiously though, my final weight for the dough was 525 grams, so I couldn’t get the halves to weigh 312, no matter how hard I tried. I wonder what happened.

SOUR CHERRY FILLING

  • At the local restaurant supply store, I found frozen pitted black cherries. They aren’t necessarily sour, but they are cherries in March. I sat them on the counter to defrost, but I also set a second bowl too. With them, I will make the cherry concentrate.
On the left are the cherries for the pie. On the right are the cherries for the reduction.
On the left are the cherries for the pie. On the right are the cherries for the reduction.
  • I was shocked at how much juice there was: 2/3 juice and 1/3 fruit. Yikes, here we go again. I cooked up the filling and like a charm, the corn starch created a wonderful consistency.
Sugar, cornstarch and salt for the filling.
Sugar, cornstarch and salt for the filling.
The cooked filling as it cools.
The cooked filling as it cools.
  • I felt encouraged. I wondered if it would have been possible to precook the Black and Blueberry Pie filling? What a sure-fire successful approach to really juicy fruit filling. Hhmm.
  • I found the filling a bit too sweet for my taste, so I added 1 tbsp of lemon juice. It created the acidity and brightness I felt was lacking. I expect the recipe was formulated for sour cherries and not black cherries.

CHERRY CONCENTRATE

  • I once made an Apple Pie from The Pie and Pastry Bible for my best kitchen buddy for his birthday. He’s an October baby so apples seemed appropriate. This recipe required me to macerate the apples so that they release maximum juice, then reduce it to about 2 tbsp. At the time, it seemed like unnecessary minutia (I was inexperienced then). Now my friend was/is quite the master in the kitchen. He’s travelled the globe and has eaten everything, no exceptions. And when he told me that this Apple Pie was the best he’s ever had, I wondered if maybe it was the wine and the scotch I poured for him, but I think not. I realized that it was the apple reduction, and it was then I learned the power of concentrating flavours. I decided to never make him another apple pie because I thought it best to let this memory ripen to epic proportions. Leave ‘em wanting more, I say.
  • When I saw that this cherry pie called for cherry concentrate, I knew how to make my own with the leftover frozen cherries.
Cherry juice as it’s concentrating.
Cherry juice as it’s concentrating.
The cherry concentrate.
The cherry concentrate.

ROLL THE DOUGH FOR THE BOTTOM PIE CRUST

  • First you need to loosen the dough so it can be rolled.
Beating the dough into submission on my well worn pastry cloth.
Beating the dough into submission on my well worn pastry cloth.
The dough just before I cut it. Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate has been used, and used, and used.
The dough just before I cut it. Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate has been used, and used, and used.
  • I lined the pie plate with the bottom crust
The plate lined with the bottom crust.
The plate lined with the bottom crust.
  • And, poured the filling in. The filling didn’t fill more than half the pie plate. I felt a little worried that I had tasted too much.
The filling in the pie plate.
The filling in the pie plate.
  • I soldiered on and cut the lattice
Working with the lattice.
Working with the lattice.

BAKE THE CHERRY PIE

  • I’m wiser now and used a foil ring on the edges so it wouldn’t over brown, but I found that the edges didn’t brown at all with the foil on, so I had to remove it in the last 10-15 minutes so that the whole pie looked even. The filling was definitely set and not soupy. I was so relieved that it hadn’t watered. I ask again, can I precook the juice of all fruit fillings? It was so effective here!
The pie out of the oven.
The pie out of the oven.

COOL THE CHERRY PIE

  • Yes, yes, yes, I let the pie cool for 3 hours, but only because I went to my Tango class. When I got home, I cut into it.
The first cut.
The first cut.
The first piece.
The first piece.
Gone.
Gone.
  • We took the pictures.
Half the pie gone in one sitting. This is why I’m on Weight Watchers!
Half the pie gone in one sitting. This is why I’m on Weight Watchers!
Captain Canada…shameless…
Captain Canada…shameless…
  • Honestly, it was better the next day. It just seemed to have settled and matured overnight.
Sour Cherry Pie, The Finer Cookie.
Sour Cherry Pie, The Finer Cookie.
  • HERE’S HOW THE ALPHA BAKERS WORK: once a week, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s newly published The Baking Bible. Each week we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our likes and dislikes. The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone is baking the same recipe at the same time. No recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers Baking Bible posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but if you love to bake, this is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers at http://rosesalphabakers.blogspot.ca/.

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