Martha’s cherry pie (complete with cherry massacre)

On Saturday I made a cherry pie. In my previous interrogation of my brother (see banana bread post), the one thing he really wanted me to bake for him was a cherry pie. This time I didn’t need to scour the internet for a recipe; I knew exactly who I was going to turn to for the recipe. Martha Stewart, of course! I love her. I decided on a sweet cherry pie because I didn’t think my brother would have liked a sour one. He is very finicky about the foods he will consume.

As Greta has stated, I am in Germany now. The only problem with that is I don’t know when I am going to get around to baking something. I am not moved into my permanent location and won’t be until the 25th. I am staying at a friend’s until then. Maybe I’ll just take over her kitchen for a day…

The recipe is in two parts: the pie crust and the pie filling.

Ingredients for crust:

– 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling out the pie dough

– 1 tsp. of salt

– 1 tsp. of granulated sugar

– 1 cup (2 sticks) of cold, unsalted butter (cut into pieces)

– 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice water

Step One: In a food processor or, in my case, using a pastry blender, combine the sugar, salt, and sugar. Pulse briefly or mix them together. Add the butter. Pulse or blend until the mixture looks like a course meal. It should have small chunks. Once you have achieved this, add the ice water. Start by adding 1/4 cup of ice water, then determine whether the mixture could use more or not. The dough should still look crumbly, put if pressed together, it should hold together. If the dough doesn’t hold together, you need to add more ice water. But be careful not to add too much!

I made the mistake of adding the water into the mixture at the same time that I added the butter. It was a tad more difficult to blend together, but the end result was still the same.

Step Two: Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Make sure to press the halves into 3/4 inch thick disks. Then pop them into the refrigerator and chill them for at least one hour, until they are firm. You can refrigerate the dough for up to three days, if need be.

Step Three: Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Make sure to work quickly because the dough does come to room temperature fairly fast, and then it is harder to work with. Roll one disk into a 14-inch circle, then wrap it around your rolling pin to move it into a 9-inch pie pan. Gently fit the dough into the pan, making sure not to stretch out the dough. Then trim the edges until there is an inch long overhang on all sides. Put the pie pan and the other dough disk back in the fridge until you need it. (I made another mistake of rolling them both out at the same time. Oh well. It still turned out. Hey, I was having an off day.)

Ingredients for pie filling:

– 2 pounds of cherries (calls for bing, I used red), halved and pitted

– 1/2 cup of granulated sugar

– 2 Tbs. of cornstarch

– 2 Tbs. of lemon juice

– All-purpose flour (for rolling out the other dough disk)

– 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbs. of water, for egg wash

– 1 Tbs. of turbinado or granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Step One: Pit those cherries. If you have a cherry pitter, kudos to you. When I was making this pie I was wishing that I had bought one on my last trip to Williams-Sonoma. Cut the cherries in half after you pit them. If you are like me and don’t have a cherry pitter, cut the cherries in half first, then pit them. This is where I had a cherry massacre going on.

My brother helped me take pictures of the cherry massacre, as my hands were becoming increasingly stained red. Fortunately, after about three washes, my hands weren’t stained anymore.

Step Two: Combine the cherries with the cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice. Then toss it all together until the cherries are well coated. You should probably also preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit at this point.

Step Three: Pour the cherry mixture into your prepared pie pan.

Step Four: Roll your second dough disk into another 14-inch circle. Now you have to decide what kind of top you want your pie to have. You can either cut the dough into eight 1 and 1/2 inch wide strips, discard the shortest two, and weave the others into a lattice. Or you can take the route I did and simply wrap the dough around your rolling pin and lay it over the top, trimming the edges and cutting slits into the top. Crimp the edges with a fork, or pinch the edges together.

Step Five: Coat the top and edges of your pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle with turbinado or granulated sugar, if you desire to do so.

Step Six: Put the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the oven for 60 to 70 minutes (until the filling is boiling rapidly). Tent the pie with aluminum foil when the crust begins to brown, which is after about 40 minutes. I had to look up what tenting was, but it’s just simply putting the foil over the pie. When the 60 to 70 minutes is up, take the pie out of the oven and put it on a wire rack. The recipe says that it needs to cool for three hours. At first, I didn’t think that it could possibly take that long to cool. But it really did need that long.

Enjoy!

– Ali

(Recipe found on MarthaStewart.com)

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One response to “Martha’s cherry pie (complete with cherry massacre)

  1. You really should have shared this with me. I’m very sad now. I believe we discussed making a real cherry pie (sans store-bought filling) at my house 2 weeks ago :(

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