Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sour Cherry Pie With Brown Sugar Cinnamon Crumble
This afternoon when I visited LadyJayPee's blog and saw her gorgeous Fresh Sour Cherry Pie with its plump, juicy cherries and flaky crust, my life came to a halt, and I immediately went into the kitchen to make a cherry pie. I have a love affair with cherry pie that dates back to my childhood, and it has been too long since I made myself one.
The recipe I always use for cherry pie is from Betty Crocker's circa 1969 3-ring binder cookbook, because it is the closest in taste to that of the ultimate Pie Queen, my Granny Mitchell. Granny's pies are worthy of another post. This time I wanted to try a streusel topped version. I'm so glad I did. The slightly crisp, buttery, cinnamon-y crumble takes the sweet-tart cherry pie to a higher level. There is cinnamon in the streusel, but I left it out of the filling, as I don't think the cherries need anything to flavor them except sugar and almond extract.
My go-to pie crust is from the same cookbook, and I made the 9-inch single crust recipe with butter-flavor Crisco. Hubby, who declared this pie "excellent" in a forceful tone, said it was the best crust he had ever had. Love that man.
I have discovered that, for me, the keys to a good pie crust are to cut the shortening (you may prefer butter, but shortening yields a flakier, crisper crust, in my opinion) into the flour until it is the size of peas, to add the ice water one tablespoonful at a time, tossing with a fork, to use a very light hand when gathering the dough into a ball, and to handle the dough as little as possible. Flakiness reigns when I follow those steps.
After the pie crust is rolled out and carefully placed in the pie plate, I trim off the uneven edges and leave a 1/2 inch overhang, fold the overhang under and press it lightly till it is fairly smooth all around, then crimp or flute the edges.
Sour Cherry Crumble Pie
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 -3 tablespoons ice cold water
Whisk together dry ingredients. Cut shortening into dry ingredients with pastry cutter until pieces are size of small peas. Sprinkle ice water over flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until mixture is moistened. Gather into ball. Place dough on floured surface and shape into flattened round. Roll into approximately 10 inch circle. I keep my pie plate close and loosely roll dough around my rolling pin, then transfer to pie plate and gently unroll it. Trim overhang to about 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate, tuck under and gently press to form even edge. Crimp with fingertips for fluted edge.
1-1/4 cup flour
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl. Add melted butter and vanilla; mix with fingertips until easily clumped.
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cans sour cherries, drained but reserving 2 tablespoons liquid
Toss filling ingredients including reserved liquid together and scrape into pie crust; sprinkle streusel over filling, covering completely.