We had a small birthday party for our friend Dawn the other day. I won’t say which birthday it was, but I will say we always enjoy when Hal, Dawn and the rest of the family come over. The thing I was told was that cherry pie was her favorite dessert, so, while my wife made chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing, I made a cherry pie for the first time.
The cupcakes were good, and the icing my wife makes is great stuff! We did use one of the cupcakes for Dawn to use to make her birthday wish…
If you’ve been reading Livefire much at all, you might guess that I didn’t get cherry pie filling at the grocery store. I just couldn’t do it. I had to start with fresh cherries, of course! And for crust, I used pâte brisée as shown in making an apple galette.
For the filling, I took a different approach than I’ve seen before with cherry pie, as I don’t really like regular old cherry pie much at all. So, instead, my wife helped me pit a bunch of cherries (3 pounds), with a cherry pitter, and I added:
- 1 cup of Turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 tablespoon minced crystalized ginger
I mixed all the dry ingredients with the cherries and let it all sit while I took care of the crust. With the crust, I divided it into 2 parts, one part about 2/3 of the dough. This part, I rolled out and placed in a pie plate. Using most of dough made sure there was plenty of overlap for later. I then put the cherries mixture in the crust, and I topped the pie with a lattice of cut out bay leaves with some Williams-Sonoma crust cutters I got last year. The leaves just went in a line instead of strips of crust.
The pie baked for about 45 minutes at 400F, until the crust was browned and the pie filling was bubbly.
I have to admit that, while the pie did taste really great (Dawn, the one that lists cherry pie as her favorite dessert, that it was the best tasting cherry pie she’d ever had), the filling didn’t work out. The cornstarch didn’t thicken up the liquid from the cherries at all, and it was really watery. The next time I make this, I’m going to try something else, or just more cornstarch. However, the flavor really was great!