- 4 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 tablespoon almond extract (optional)
- Your favorite pie crust or pie dough recipe for 2 crust pie
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, to dot
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle
Place cherries in medium saucepan and place over heat. Cover. After the cherries lose considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract, if desired, and mix. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Use your favorite pie dough recipe. Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan. Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on if you are feeling inspired, make a lattice top for the pie for an extra fancy look -- follow the directions below and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Bake for about 50 minutes or until filling is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
To make a lattice top: Cut the dough into even strips, 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch wide, depending on how thick you want your lattice strips. You can use a blunt knife with or without a ruler or straight edge to guide you, or you can use a pizza wheel or a pastry wheel if you have one. Fill your pie shell with the pie filling. Lay out 4 to 7 parallel strips of the pie dough, depending on how thick your strips are, on top of the filling, with about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch space between them. Fold back every other strip. Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip. Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip, as shown. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. Continue this process until the weave is complete over the top of the pie. Trim the edges of the strips flush with the dough of the underlying pie dish, which should be about half an inch over the sides. Fold back the rim of the shell over the edge of the lattice strips, and crimp to secure.