Monday, May 25, 2015

Cherry Pie Filling

I love cherry pie.  Unfortunately, I've never had much success with making them. I have a hard time determining how much sugar and thickening agent to use so that I don't have an overly sweet cherry soup mess! Cherries are at the farm stands now and I was determined to make a good cherry pie. This time I tried something new, a pre-cooked cherry pie filling. Success! I was able to adjust the sweetness to my liking and, though not necessary in this case, would be able to add more thickener if the mixture was too thin. I think this will be my go-to way of making cherry pies from now on!

Cherry Pie Filling

6 cups of pitted fresh cherries
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar**
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 1/2 tablespoons water

Whisk together the cornstarch and water; set aside.

Add the cherries, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt to a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat for about five minutes, or until the cherries really start to release their juices.

Re-whisk the cornstarch/water mixture and add it to the cherries. Stir together and bring to a rapid boil, stirring often, until thickened. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

** Adjust sugar based on the sweetness of the cherries.

Cherry Pie

Pastry for 2-crust pie
1 recipe cherry pie filling

Roll out half the pastry; fit into bottom of 9-inch pie pan. Pour in topping; dot with butter, if desired.

Top with second half of rolled out pastry, or make a lattice top. Flute edges. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired.

Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 35 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling.  If edges brown too much, cover loosely with a strip of aluminum foil.
I enjoyed the outdoors while pitting the cherries. Even using a cherry pitter and wearing an apron, I had cherry spatters everywhere.  No way do I do this in my white kitchen!

I don't like cleaning ovens; thus I always put a fruit pie on a foil-lined baking sheet!

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