Today’s Sweet Cherry Pie comes from Noelle Carter of the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen. Make it with the last of the fresh cherries at the market; later in the year you can use canned.
On Sunday, September 1, Carter will be co-hosting the newspaper’s THE TASTE Labor Day Block Party with Nancy Silverton. Evan will be doing a demo.
Find Carter’s recipe below, and click here to enter YOUR delicious pie (or pies) in the 5th Annual Good Food Pie Contest on Saturday, September 7th at LACMA.
Sweet Cherry Pie
(From Noelle Carter, Test Kitchen Director at the Los Angeles Times)
The key to a great fruit pie is choosing the right fruit; even under a double crust, quality shows. Under-ripened fruit can be tough and often has not had a chance to develop enough sugar for good flavor; conversely, over-ripened fruit can be too sweet and unbalanced in flavor, not to mention too soft for good pie texture. The trick is to keep it simple. Let the fruit speak for itself by not disguising it with a bunch of other flavors — a fruit pie is about the fruit, after all.
One of my favorite pies is a classic cherry pie. Although jarred sour cherries are great, I love when I can find them fresh. Problem is, sour cherries have such a small window of availability and might be difficult to find depending on where you live.
I recently tried making a pie using fresh sweet cherries, which are much easier to find. I sweetened the cherries with less sugar, as they’re naturally sweeter, and tossed the pitted fruit with a little Grand Marnier and vanilla to brighten the flavors and to give the cherries a little more depth. The resulting pie is simple but rich with flavor, and I loved the slightly firmer texture from the fresh fruit.
Sweet Cherry Pie
Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling time
Servings: Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling over the pie
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the three-fourths cup sugar with the cornstarch. Stir in the cherries, coating completely, then stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur until evenly combined.
3. Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pie crust. Pile in the cherries, sprinkling over the cherries any additional sugar-cornstarch mixture that did not stick to the fruit.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg to form a wash.
5. Prepare the top crust, adding decorative cutouts or cutting lattice strips if desired. Cover the top of the pie with the prepared top crust, sealing the edges with the egg wash and cutting vents if needed.
6. Brush the top of the crust with the egg wash, and sprinkle over a light coating of sugar.
7. Place the pie in the oven and bake until the crust is a rich golden color and the filling is bubbly and thick, about 1 hour and 15 minutes; rotate the pie halfway through for even coloring, and tent if needed to prevent over-coloring.
8. Cool before serving.
Each of 8 servings: 569 calories; 7 grams protein; 79 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 25 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 65 mg. cholesterol; 37 grams sugar; 449 mg. sodium.