Cherry season is a pretty short event, starting in April and continuing until the end of August or early September. Now is the time to scoop up the last of the cherries and make a pie to freeze and bake during the holidays. I don’t think there is anything better than a fresh cherry pie, made with fresh cherries (not that gooey stuff in a can) in a double flaky crust.
Creating this Make Ahead Cherry Pie is relatively simple, especially after you pit the cherries. Pitting cherries can be a fun family experience and I find it quite relaxing, I know I’m unique. The crust is a basic double crust recipe, which you divide into two rounds and roll out separately. The rest is a cinch and the results are delicious. Come this holiday season, you will be glad you made a homemade Cherry Pie.
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks, cold butter – diced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup ice water
8 cups fresh cherries, any variety (use can use frozen, if you must)
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
(Makes 1 Pie)
1. In a stand mixer, mix on low the flour, cornstarch and sugar. Add the diced butter and continue to mix on low for 1 minute or until rough coarse crumbs.
2. Drizzle in the water, while the mixer is running on low, just until the dough begins to come together. You may not need all the water. Dump the dough out on the counter and divide it into 2 pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes.
3. Pit the cherries and discard the seeds.
4. Add the cornstarch and sugar to the cherries and stir to combine.
5. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon and stir again. Set aside.
6. When the dough is chilled, remove 1 round from the refrigerator and plastic wrap and place it on a floured counter. Roll the dough out into a large circle, big enough to cover a 10-inch pie pan with a 3-inch boarder.
7. Wrap the pie dough around the rolling pin and carefully place it inside the pie pan. Fold the edges under and crimp.
8. Pour the cherry mixture into the pie shell.
9. Remove the second round of dough from the refrigerator and plastic wrap. Roll out into the same size circle and cut it into 1-inch strips, using a knife or dough cutter.
10. Place every other strip of pie dough on top of the cherries. leaving the remaining strips of dough.
11. Fold every other pie dough strip back, on top of pie. Starting in the center, place a long strip of dough across the center of the pie. Place the strips back down and flip back the alternating rows. Place a second strip across the pie and place the strips back down. Repeat this step until all the strips are gone. Tuck the strips of dough into the edges of the pie crust.
12. Your pie is complete. Wrap the pie in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil until sealed. Store in the freezer for several months. When ready to serve, bake on a sheet pan at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cool to room temperature and serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!