Easy Peasy Homemade Cherry Pie
I can't imagine anything better than pie for an afternoon snack, for a treat after dinner, or even for breakfast. Why not?!
I've made so many pies this year that they are becoming easier and easier. I don't even have to have all of the right ingredients anymore to still make a fantastic pie.
Of course I have a Flaky Pie Crust recipe, and an Almond No-Flour Pie Crust recipe, but I also have many more on hand to supplement any ingredient I may not have.
So I don't have enough cherries, I'll substitute apples, pears, berries, or just about any other fruit that I may have on hand.
In fact, if you have fruit, sugar and some sort of flour in the house, I can make you a delicious pie!
The History of Cherry Pies
Pie-making was an area in which the English were considered to be experts. By the seventeenth century, when New England was being settled by people from England, “even the French were prepared to concede superiority” to the English when it came to pies.
Making sweet pies in particular was considered socially respectable, even prestigious, because while most types of cooking were thought to be best left to the servants, preparing sweet dishes, “confectionery,” was viewed as an activity that was proper for the mistress of the house—even the mistress of a grand aristocratic house—to engage in with her own two hands. (New England)
In fact, the absence of a pie in the house of any English home was considered too embarrassing to believe. And cherry pies, in particular, were specifically made to highlight the natural flavor of cherries without any extra flavoring.
Cherry pies are a big part of history and can be found in just about everyone's origins. Cherry pie is even immortalized in modern day ways.
Cherry pie as a dish enjoys a strong history in the United States and is often regarded as a "great American dish." A cherry pie figures prominently in "Billy Boy," a nursery rhyme.
There is an award-winning actress by the name of Cherry Pie. Even the song by Warrant named "Cherry Pie", from their album of the same name is one of the group's most popular songs. (Wikipedia)
I hope your mouth is watering in anticipation at this point. Well, let's get down to business and make one!
- 1 (2-count) package refrigerated pie crusts, (or one of my homemade pie crust recipes)
- about 4 cups (40 to 55 cherries) fresh cherries
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. You'll want a deep dish pie dish for this project. Spray it generously with cooking spray so your pie won't stick to the bottom.
- In a strainer, wash your fresh cherries thoroughly.
- Then you'll want to pull off all of the stems and remove all of the cherry pits. I would give yourself at least 30 to an hour to do this by yourself. With help this time can be cut more than half.
- I know everyone has their own way to do this. I just cut them in half and remove the pit with my fingers. Also note that cherry juice stains. Make sure to keep them on your cutting board, have a towel handy that isn't important to you, and don't wear clothes you care about.
- In a large bowl, combine your cherries with your water, cornstarch and sugar and mix well. (You can also toss everything straight into your saucepan like I did.)
- Pour this concoction in a large saucepan with high sides and cook over medium heat until your cherries start releasing their juices and the whole mixture starts gelling together.
- Your cherries will start shrinking and wrinkling as they cook down. They will also start losing their bright red color and turn a much darker shade. This is okay.
- After about 10-20 minutes, you'll want to turn the heat off on your cherries and let them cool. As they cool down, they start looking like the pie filling you're familiar with.
- In the meantime, you'll want to begin mixing your pie crust dough, if you are not using refrigerated pie crusts. (I just used ones I already had made, and had refrigerated, from a previous pie crust recipe.)
- Once mixed (or once your refrigerated pie crusts have thawed) roll one of your crusts out on a clean, floured surface to fit your pie dish.
- Transfer your pie crust to your prepared pie dish and push down into your dish a bit.
- I went ahead and folded over my pie crust. You can choose to do this when you have the filling already in and both pie crusts laid if you so choose to.
- Now that your cherry filling has cooled, pour it into your pie crust. It should be heaping over the top or you haven't used enough cherries. I should have used another half a bag, I was simply tired of pitting. lol
- Now pull out another pie crust, either from your box of crusts from the store, or from the mixture you just made.
- Roll it out, but not quite as big as you did the previous crust, as it is going on the top.
- Lay it out over the top of your pie.
- Because my first pie crust was already designed, I chose to fold my top pie crust under like a lid to my pie. I like how it ends up looking when I do this.
- When finished, cut slits into the top of your top crust with a sharp knife, where pie slices would normally be cut.
- Slide your pie in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. If your pie crust edges start browning too much, cover them with small slits of aluminum foil to protect them.
- Finally, allow to cool a bit before serving, and I suggest using a really good pie server to remove a nice clean slice.
- Feel free to top with cool whip or vanilla ice cream (or both)!!
- Enjoy! Yummy! Yummy!
|Serving size: 1 slice of pie|
|Calories from Fat||180|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 20 g||31%|
|Saturated fat 5 g||25%|
|Carbohydrates 70 g||23%|
|Fiber 8 g||32%|
|Protein 5 g||10%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 340 mg||14%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
I need to remind you to put a cookie sheet under your pie as it will overflow your pie dish as it gets hot regardless of whether you have properly filled it or not.
It should take 2-3 full bags of fresh cherries from the store (or two cans of cherry filling), as you ideally want your filling to be heaping over the dish a little when covering it with your second crust.
Finally, most of the way through the baking process, I would highly suggest covering your pie with aluminum foil so it can continue cooking without the fear of it browning too much. Mine got a tad bit too brown.
This recipe can be just as delicious if you use refrigerated pie crusts, and/or canned cherry pie filling. It will just be a tad sweeter as fresh cherries are pretty tart.
The taste will also be just a tad bit different. The biggest difference though, is that you won't feel that sense of accomplishment afterward even though you can still make a delicious pie.
Note that real cherries are just a tad bit on the pricey side at the grocery store, and they will take a little bit of effort and pre-preparation on your side, but so will making your own pie crust.
I would give yourself an hour to pit two full bags of fresh cherries (though it needed another half bag at least, I just got tired of pitting).
However, you'll find that real cherries have much more flavor and are a little bit on the tart side, like traditional cherry pies.
By making your own pie crusts, you can use the ingredients you choose to make it with no flour, to make it gluten-free, to have a more cake-like thicker crust, or even to have a nice traditional flaky crust.
Whatever way you choose to enjoy it, I always suggest popping it into the microwave and nuking it for at least 30 seconds as cherry pie is always better hot.
Top it with whip cream, ice cream, or both and you'll have a truly amazing treat!
What is your favorite pie flavor?
© 2014 Victoria Van Ness