Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thanksgiving "Prep"

Since you all know that the House Party has moved into new digs that are considerably smaller than the old clubhouse, we will not be hosting the annual FĂȘte Dindonneau. We will, instead be traveling to the Diaspora to have dinner at my in-laws' place.

When I asked what I could bring for dinner Mom said that I needn't bring anything but you all know how that goes. We all have a desire to bring something. I suggested that I would make some whole-wheat rolls and a pumpkin cheesecake. She said that Nancy (my sister-in-law) was making a pumpkin pie so she suggested that I make my father-in-law's favorite pie, cherry pie.

Well, to be honest, I haven't made a cherry pie since cooking school so I had to look up recipes on the Internet and I found one with a minimum of ingredients (the usual requirement for something really delicious)
. Most recipes call for sour cherries in a can or fresh cherries which are out of season now. I was able to find sweet "IQF" (individually quick frozen) cherries in the supermarket packed by Dole. I got a couple of packages of them and scurried home to make a test pie.

The result was a really delicious pie that had none of the cloyingly sweet, gloppy gooey filling you find in most cherry pies. It really was a delicious pie. Here is the recipe:

Sweet Cherry Pie

1 recipe double-crust pie dough (your favorite)

4 cups IQF sweet cherries

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2/3 cup sugar

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or Grand Marnier, Kirsch, almond extract, you decide)

1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water

Sugar for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Stir together the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon and vanilla extract gently together in a large bowl. If using frozen cherries, prepare dough first.

3. Roll out half of chilled dough (use larger piece, if you’ve divided them unevenly) on a floured work surface to 13-inch round. Gently place it in 9-inch pie pan, either by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan or by folding it into quarters and unfolding it in the pan. Trim edges to a half-inch overhang.

4. Spoon filling into pie crust, discarding the majority of the liquid that has pooled in the bowl.

5. Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively. Brush the egg wash over over pie crust. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon granulated sugar on crust.

6. Cut slits in the crust with a sharp knife, forming steam vents, and bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F. and bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool on a rack.

This is a really good and seemingly foolproof pie. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

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