Best Cherry Pie
Best Cherry Pie is really the best! I know you’ll think that statement is a gross exaggeration but you have to taste this pie to believe it! The combination of tart cherries with sugar and almond extract is delectable and, of course, if you make my Mom’s flaky Homemade Pie Crust the combination is unbeatable!
My love for Cherry Pie began as a young girl when my parents would always take us to visit my grandparent’s farm in southeastern Ohio. McConnelsville, Ohio, to be exact. My grandfather immigrated from Czechoslovakia as a young man in the very early 1900s. He worked in the coal mines in West Virginia for about five years to save up enough for a nest egg to purchase the land in Ohio.
He was 22 and my grandmother 14 when they married. Yeah. My dad always told me it was an arranged marriage since she was also slavic. Back in those days they tried to keep cultures together. Regardless, they married in 1908 and settled on the homestead in Ohio that grandpa built himself. One of the first things they did was plant three cherries in the front yard. They also planted apple, plum and pear trees along the side of the property.
When Mom was growing up they had wild blackberry bushes they would pick from to make pies as well as other berry bushes they had planted. When I was growing up my mom would pack up our station wagon and drive to Ohio from Florida every June as soon as we got out of school.
Dad made a wood box to fit as a car top carrier (that was back before car top carriers were even available for purchase). We packed up all our suitcases and mom would lay the back seat down and place lots of blankets and pillows back there for my brothers and sisters and I to sleep on while on those long treks across country.
When we arrived, the kids would be split up and go to different cousin’s houses (who also had farms) but we always made it back to grandma’s every day to visit. (They were up in age and couldn’t handle so many kids in the house at once).
Grandma always made my favorites: Cherry Pie and Haluski (a Czech dish with homemade noodles and fried cabbage). I even got to help her pick the cherries off the trees many times. Grandma’s crusts were made with lard and while that sounds weird to the modern reader, that was what they made pie crusts with back in the days before shortening was invented.
So my love for Cherry Pie came at a young age. Mom didn’t make as much Cherry Pie because we didn’t have cherry trees growing up in Florida. While my Mom’s Cherry Pie recipe is excellent, Best Cherry Pie is even better! That sounds kind of blasphemous, doesn’t it?
I got this recipe from dear friends when they had us over for dinner one night. She actually made the recipe in a 9×13″ baking dish and, quite frankly, until I made it for Christmas last year, I’d always done the same thing. This time I actually made it in a pie plate for our Christmas dinner.
Best Cherry Pie is always a hit with everyone we make it for. We had quite a houseful of company for Christmas 2015, and the pie was raved over even by those who don’t usually eat a lot of dessert. But since I also made a Sweet Potato Custard Pie and Philadelphia Cheesecake (which were also raved over), we had leftovers so my husband and I got our fill of Best Cherry Pie.
Yes, you could say we were in seventh heaven. Since I don’t bake pie that often anymore with just the two of us at home, we indulged–make that over-indulged! 🙂 I guarantee if you make Best Cherry Pie, you’ll over-indulge too! It’s that good.
Best Cherry Pie is the most delectable cherry pie you’ll ever eat.
Almond extract and tart cherries combine for one of the most extraordinary dessert experiences you’ll ever have!
Every bite of Best Cherry Pie will have you drooling!
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients. I used my recipe for a Homemade Pie Crust.
Prepare the filling: Combine sugar, flour and salt. Add butter cut up in small pieces or slivers and stir to combine.
Add drained tart cherries, part of the reserved cherry juice, almond extract and red food coloring.
Stir ingredients to combine. Set aside so juices can marinate while you prepare the crust.
Prepare the Homemade Pie Crust. Have the lattice crust rolled out, cut and ready to place on crust after the pie filling is poured into the pie shell.
If you pour the pie filling into the shell and then have to take the time to roll out more pie dough, the crust will get soggy. Make sure the top crust is ready to go as soon as you put the filling into the pie.
Place lattice crust on top. You can weave the crust if you want to take the time to do that.
Bake the pie at 300 for about 1 1/2 hours or until the juices bubble up between the layers of the lattice crust very thickly. If necessary, tent the pie with foil to avoid browning. If you don’t cook the pie long enough the juices will run after you cut into it.
Serve Best Cherry Pie a la mode!
Every forkful of pie is amazing.
Here’s the recipe.
BEST CHERRY PIE
(Recipe adapted from Sarah Mann, when we attended Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX)
- 1 to 1 ½ cups sugar (depending on how tart the cherries)
- dash of salt
- 1/3 cup cherry juice
- ¼ tsp. red food coloring
- 6-8 drops almond extract (I use about a teaspoon)
- 2 14.5-oz. cans pitted tart red cherries, drained (reserving 1/3 cup cherry juice for recipe)
- 3 heaping tablespoonfuls flour
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, slivered
- 1 recipe [url href=”http://cantstayoutofthekitchen.com/2012/12/05/homemade-pie-crust/” target=”_blank”]plain pastry[/url]
- Combine sugar, flour & salt.
- Stir in butter, then cherry juice, food coloring and almond extract.
- Add cherries and let stand while making pastry. (This helps the flavors absorb more readily).
- Pour cherry filling into pastry shell.
- Cover with a lattice top crust.
- Bake at 300° for about 1 ½ hours until the juice starts bubbling up quite thick between the layers of the lattice crust.
- If necessary tent pie with foil to prevent browning.
Prepare yourself for a culinary delight!
Best Cherry Pie will have your taste buds salivating! 🙂