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Sour Cherry Pie

December 16, 2007

For the crust:

2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening, divided

4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

4 cups sour cherries, (if frozen, thaw)

2 2/3 tablespoons quick or minute tapioca

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

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1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

To make the crust:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Cut in 1/3 cup of the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in another 1/3 cup of shortening until the particles are the size of large peas. One tablespoon at a time, sprinkle 4 to 5 tablespoons of cold water over the dough and mix lightly with a fork until the dough holds together. Roll half of the dough for the bottom crust and half for the top crust. Lay the bottom crust in the pie pan and trim off the excess crust.

To make the filling:

In a large bowl, toss the sour cherries with the tapioca, sugar and lemon juice. Let stand about 10 minutes.

Continue with the pie:

Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell and dot the filling with bits of butter. Cover the pie with the top crust and seal the edges. Vent the top crust by making a few short slits in it. Swain vented and decorated the crust by using a hard plastic sheet with raised hearts on it (see photo). She laid the top crust on the sheet and rolled it with a rolling pin, cutting out heart shapes. Then she placed the heart shapes atop the crust.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes.

Cook's note: In June, Swain picks, pits and freezes cherries.

- Courtesy of Debra Swain of the Leitersburg area. Crust recipe is from "Ann Pillsbury's Baking Book," 1950

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