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The Perfect Sour Cherry Pie

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

This is the perfect sour cherry pie. Fresh, tart cherries and all the tips and tricks you need for the best, flaky, buttery crust.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE DOUGH:
  • 2-⅔ cups All-purpose Flour, Plus More For Dusting
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 18 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Cut Into ½ Inch Cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons Vodka, Chilled
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar, Chilled
  • 3 Tablespoons Plus 2 Teaspoons Ice Water
  • 1 whole Egg Beaten With 1 Tablespoon Water, For Brushing
  • 2 Tablespoons Demerara Sugar, For Sprinkling
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 2 pounds Sour Cherries, Halved And Pitted (4 Cups)
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar, Divided
  • 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch, Divided
  • ½ teaspoons Finely Grated Lemon Zest
  • ½ Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Cut Into ½ Inch Cubes, Chilled

Preparation

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

Toss in butter to coat. Rub butter into flour using fingertips to create some large, irregular pieces and some thin, flat pieces. Work quickly to avoid overheating butter. Place in fridge for several minutes if butter gets too warm.

Mix together vodka, vinegar and 3 tablespoons of ice water in a measuring cup. Drizzle over flour/butter mixture. Mix with fork to create a shaggy mixture. Knead to form a dough. It should look dry and rough. Drizzle over remaining 2 teaspoons of ice water and knead together. Do not overwork.

Divide the dough in half. Shape one half into a ¾ inch block. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Stack pieces on top of each other and press down to shape into a ¾ inch disc. This will create layers of butter that become flaky when baking. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.

Remove dough from fridge and sit on counter for 5–15 minutes or until warm enough to work with. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough 1/8 of an inch thick into a 13-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and chill in fridge. Repeat with second half of dough, and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill in fridge.

When dough on baking sheet is chilled, transfer to a lightly floured surface. Punch out circles spaced 1 inch apart using an Ateco 808 round tip, leaving a 2-inch border, or manipulate as desired. Return to baking sheet and chill.

After cutting the cherries, place cherries in a sieve to separate any juices. I was left with a ½ cup of juice. Add juice and ¼ cup of the sugar (adjust according to the amount of juice released by your cherries) to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 8 minutes or until reduced by half. Whisk 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cherry liquid and add to pan. Whisk to combine and boil for 2 minutes or until syrupy. Cool completely in fridge. Mixture will continue to thicken upon cooling.

Place a baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove both pieces of dough from fridge. In a large bowl, stir together cherries, remaining ¾ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, zest, vanilla, salt and cooled, thickened juices. Sprinkle remaining 2 tsp of cornstarch directly on bottom dough. Pour in fruit mixture. Lightly brush rim of dough with egg wash, reserving remaining egg wash for later. Gently cover with top dough. Trim any overhang in excess of 1 inch from top and bottom dough. Pinch edges of dough together and tuck under into pan. Mark rim of pie with tines of fork or crimp, as desired. Place in freezer for 10–15 minutes or until dough is firm.

Remove pie from freezer and brush top with reserved egg wash. Sprinkle generously with demerara sugar. Bake in center of oven on preheated baking sheet for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 375°F and continue to bake for 60-70 minutes or until bottom and top crust are well browned and filling is bubbling rapidly. Tent when needed to avoid overbrowning crust. Place on cooling rack and cool completely uncovered at room temperature. Slice and enjoy.

Note: I suggest freezing the butter for the dough for 5–10 minutes after cutting for the best results.

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