Sour cherry pie

The votes have been tallied and the results are in: sour cherry pie it is.

Of course, this particular sour cherry pie was baked so long ago that I could barely remember how it tasted. Ever the fastidious blogger (ha!), I decided to re-create the dessert hoping to re-capture what had me so enthused about it in the first place.

Earlier this week proved to be the perfect opportunity. One of my cousins was married this past Saturday, and my brother and sister came to town for the festivities: an afternoon ceremony in a local park, followed by a few games of 5-pin at the Grandview Lanes, capped off with an Indian feast and dancing at the Legion.

A smaller crowd gathered for the post-wedding BBQ/re-hash at my uncle's on Sunday; an even smaller contingent was privy to the post-post-wedding pie at our place on Monday.

The thing about cherry pie is that it's kind of a pain—sour cherries can be tricky to find and cherries of any kind must be painstakingly pitted—but shortcuts inevitably lead to disappointment.

The solution, of course, is to invest the time and make sure every last bite ends up only in the most deserving/discerning of mouths. Mission accomplished.

Sour Cherry Pie

Your favourite pastry, enough for top and bottom

1-1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 cups pitted sour cherries*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
Coarse sugar (optional)

* About 2 1/2 pounds, or just over 1 kilogram, of unpitted cherries should do the trick. If you're working with frozen cherries, be sure to thaw and drain them before pitting.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whisk together the sugar, tapioca, corn starch, cocoa and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the pitted cherries, vanilla and almond extract, tossing gently to combine. Set the mixture aside while you roll out the pastry.

Once you've lined your pie plate with pastry and rolled out the top, prepare your egg wash by whisking together the egg and water. Now let's put this pie together.

Spoon the filling into the pie shell, including the liquid that has pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Unless your cherries are particularly juicy, we've got the thickening part covered.

Now dot the top of the filling with cold butter, brush the rim with egg wash and cover it all with another layer of pastry. Seal and finish the edges of the pie as you like, making sure to add a few venting slits on top. Brush with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet. Why? Because I personally guarantee this will happen:

Bake for 45-60 minutes until the top is golden brown, then cool in a window like they do in the storybooks.

Source: The Casual Baker

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