Roxana Jullapat is the Pastry Chef and co-owner of Cooks County AND we are thrilled that she is also a judge at the 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest. She shares her “Farewell to Cherries” Pie with us as she bids one of her favorite fruits adieu until next year. Along with a recipe she gave us this warning:
“Warning: This pie is not the classic cherry pie you crave in the middle of May when cherries first come into season. I like to make it as a way to say farewell to cherries when the stands at the farmers’ market start to slim down. Other valid reasons to make this pie are: a) you are too lazy to pit the six cups required to make a fresh cherry pie from scratch, b) it is later in the year and all you have left is a jar of that delicious cherry jam you made at the height of the season, c) you live in the Southern hemisphere and happen to be enjoying cherries when everyone in the Northern hemisphere is eating apples. Useful hint: this recipe also works wonderfully with a puckery plum jam or tart cranberry compote.”
Keep reading for her recipe and click here to enter YOUR pie in this year’s Good Food Pie Contest.
“Farewell to Cherries” Pie
From Roxana Jullapat of Cooks County
(Makes one nine-inch pie)
For the pie crust:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons powder sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cream cheese, cold
1 egg white
2 to 4 tablespoons iced water
For the pie filling:
4 ounces unsalted butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
7 tablespoons graham cookie crumbs
1 cup homemade or high-quality, store-bought cherry jam *see recipe below for homemade cherry jam
To make the crust:
Combine the flour, powder sugar and salt with the cubes of butter and cream cheese. Use a pastry cutter (or your hands) to break up the fat into pieces the size of a dime. Make a well in the center, and pour in the egg white and 2 tablespoons of iced water. Mix with your hands until the dough comes together, but don’t worry if bits of butter are still visible. If dough seems still a little dry, you may add up to 2 additional tablespoons of iced water. Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 48 hours.
Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to form a round about 11 inches in diameter. Pick up the dough circle by rolling it onto the rolling pin, and lay it in a 9-inch pie pan. Gently press the dough over the bottom of the pan, leaving a lip on the edge. Trim the excess dough just to the border of the pie pan, and crimp the edges as desired ) or press gently with a fork). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F.
To blind bake the shell: take the pie shell out of the refrigerator, coat it lightly with nonstick cooking spray, line it with 2 to 3 coffee filters, and fill with 1 to 2 cups of dried beans (to prevent the crust from puffing while baking in the oven). Bake the shell for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. Remove beans and coffee filters and discard them.
In the electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the brown sugar until nice and soft. With the mixer running at medium speed, slowly add the egg yolks one by one letting them combine thoroughly into the butter. Add the vinegar, vanilla extract and salt and mix further. Stop the mixer and with a rubber spatula, clean the sides of the bowl. Lastly add the cookie crumbs and mix for another minute.
To assemble the pie, spread the cherry jam over the bottom of the pre-baked pie shell. Immediately top with the butter mixture and carefully spread to cover the entire belly of the pie with a cake spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling sets and has a rich golden brown color. Let cool completely or serve while it is still warm with a spoonful of unsweetened whipped cream. It is still delicious the following day, reheated for 5 minutes in the toaster oven.
Homemade Cherry Jam
This recipe will make about 2 cups, a bit more jam than what the pie calls for. Store the remaining jam in the refrigerator for up to two months.
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ vanilla bean
4 cups cherries, stemmed and pitted
¼ cup port or red wine
Place the sugar in a medium, non-reactive pot. Using a pairing knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape with the back of the knife to remove the pulp. Put vanilla pod and pulp in the pot with the sugar. Add ½ cup of water and cook over medium to high heat to a thick syrup. Add the pitted cherries and port or red wine and cook while stirring constantly for 10 to 15 minutes of until the jam has reduced to a loose pulpy mass. To test if the jam is ready, chill a plate in the freezer before getting started. Place a dollop of the hot jam onto the cold plate and trace a line in the middle of the dollop with the back of a spoon. If the spoon leaves a trace, the jam is ready. If the jam is still too saucy, the line will disappear quickly which means that the jam needs to be cooked further. When the jam is ready transfer to a glass container and let cool completely before using.