July 28, 2014
Last week was my birthday. I didn’t want cake, I’m kinda over cupcakes, and ice cream, well, meh. For my birthday, I wanted pie, so pie I made. A classic Sour Cherry Pie. And it was birthday perfection.
Since it was my birthday, I decided to follow a recipe instead of develop my own. I wanted to go on autopilot. I don’t mind baking on my birthday, but working, well, meh. Good thing I’ve been wanting to try more recipes from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.
This recipe is simple and gorgeous. It calls for arrowroot to thicken the pie, a new-to-me approach. It also calls for an egg in the filling, which I assume is also to help thicken. That’s also new to me and, if my assumption is correct, it worked. If you don’t have arrowroot, straight substitute cornstarch and keep the egg.
The original recipe also calls for only allspice, but I used a combination of apple pie spice and allspice. And, if you don’t have bitters, you can skip it. It gives a nice touch, but the pie will be delicious even without.
Make this delicious pie as soon as you can, even if your birthday isn’t anytime soon, and put this cookbook at the top of your birthday wish list, even if you don’t bake. The pictures alone are worth it!
Sour Cherry Pie
Adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
Makes one 9-inch pie, Serves 8-10
(Can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*
All-Butter Crust for a 9-inch double crust pie (see page 207 in the book or use my simple, perfect pie dough)
5 cups sour cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar for finishing
1. Prep and refrigerated one dough-lined 9-inch pie pan and another rolled out round of dough or lattice to top the pie.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cherries, lemon juice, granulated and brown sugars, arrowroot, apple pie spice, allspice, salt, egg, and bitters, and toss well to combine. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the top crust or lattice, and crimp as desired.
3. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the dough. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
4. Brush the top crust with egg wash to coat. If your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the crust (it will burn). Sprinkle with desired amount of demerara sugar. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue baking until the crust is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 30 minutes longer.
5. Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.
*Note: While there is nothing in this that is unsafe for younger eaters, I recommend this starting at 10-months due to the high sugar content. No matter how old your eaters, be sure to serve age-appropriate portions. A little of this sweet treat goes a long way with little ones.