Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cherry Pie

2  9" pie crusts
4 C fresh (or frozen) cherries
1 Tbls lemon juice
½ to 1 C sugar
3 Tbls cornstarch
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
1½ Tbls butter
1 Tbls sugar

Trim, pit and halve cherries. Place cherries and lemon juice in saucepan over medium heat, covered. In small bowl, mix ½ cup sugar and cornstarch. Once cherries lose considerable juice (about 6-8 minutes), remove from heat. Pour sugar mixture into cherries, mix well. Add additional sugar as needed to taste; if you're using tart cherries instead of sweet, you'll need more. Stir in almond extract, if desired. Return to low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, let cool. (If mix is too thick, add a little water; if too thin, add a little more cornstarch; it will thicken when baking.)

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Line 9" pie pan with bottom crust. Pour cooled cherry mixture into crust; dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust; top with second crust, pressing gently to seal.* Flute edges if desired. Pierce top crust several times with a fork so steam can vent during baking (or use a knife to cut steam vents). Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

* You could also use 1" strips of pie crust to create a lattice over top of cherry filling, or get creative with cut out shapes...

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