Blue Ribbon Cherry Pie

Take advantage of fresh cherries for true summer flavor. When they’re not in season, thaw fresh cherries to use in this all-star pie.”



For filling:
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
6 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

For crust:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold shortening
About 4 tablespoons ice water
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons sugar

Prepare filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch, and spices in a large, heavy saucepan. Stir in cherries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring just until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool.
Meanwhile, prepare pie crust: Combine flour and salt in a large bowl; cut in shortening until crumbly. Sprinkle cold water over the surface, tossing with a fork until a ball forms. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 17-inch circle. Carefully transfer to an OLD MILL POTTERY PIE PLATE (8 to 9 inches in diameter), allowing excess pastry to hang over rim of pie plate. Pour cherry filling into center of crust, spreading out to edges but mounding slightly in center. Use scissors to trim dough overhang evenly; reserve scraps for garnish, if desired. Fold in dough overhang, pleating as you go to flatten it. Brush pastry with egg and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Place pie plate on a baking sheet for easier handling.

Bake at 400 degrees F. until golden brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Note: To garnish with stars, roll out dough scraps to 1/8 inch. Use 1- and 2-inch star cutters to cut into desired sizes. Place on a baking sheet; brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 until golden brown, 10 to 13 minutes.

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