- For the filling:
- 2 1/2 cups cherries, pitted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Clabber Girl corn starch
- For the pastry crust:
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- scant 1/4 teaspoon Clabber Girl Baking Powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water, as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 egg, whisked, for egg wash
For the filling - Stir the fruit, sugar and corn starch together in a small, non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring, till translucent, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely, a few hours or overnight.
For the pastry- Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs with some pea-size pieces of butter. Gradually stir in enough of the water, and the vinegar, for the dough to clump together. Gather up the dough and divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other. Press each half into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled but not hard, 1 to 2 hours.
To bake the pie - Pre-heat the oven to 400° - 425°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger portion of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick round. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish, trimming the dough to a 1/2-inch overhang around the edges of the dish. Roll out the remaining dough into a 1/8-inch-thick round, and center over filling. Pinch the edges of the dough layers together, and flute the edges. Cut a few slits in the top crust. Brush with the whisked egg for a shiny appearance.
Baking pies can vary a bit from oven to oven. It is best to have some familiarity with the heat or with the conduction of heat, in your oven. In general, set a rack in the center of the oven, place pie on the rack at 400 - 425 degrees and cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature by 50 degrees and continue cooking, without opening the door, for another 20 - 25 minutes. At this point you should check to see if the edges of the pie are browning too much. If so, place a pie collar or aluminum foil over the exposed crust and continue baking till the center is golden and bubbly, between 15 and 25 more minutes.
Cool for at least an hour for best results - the pie will still be warm and the corn starch and fruit will have time to gel. Makes 8 servings.
Sour cherries, bing, Montmorency, Rainier - there are many to choose from. If your cherries do not leave you with a bit of juice during the pitting process, you may want to add a few tablespoons of water to this while you cook the fruit. I will leave the lattice crust to you, the home bakers, discretion. It is an act of love and the whole grain pastry adds another element of challenge as it tends to be a bit more delicate. The directions here describe a basic double crust.