you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only
the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving towards perfection becomes
clear: to make people happy. That’s what
cooking is all about.” -Thomas Keller
Last weekend, we celebrated my friend Cindy’s fiftieth
birthday. And she surprised her own surprise cocktail party! She walked into
the hotel suite and two of my friends scurried away from the door like
cockroaches while muttering, “Oh shit!”
I stood behind a pillar giggling. We all hugged the laughing birthday girl, placed a drink in her hand, and took pictures. Before we went dancing, we lit the
candles on her two sour cherry pies and serenaded her with a pitchy version of
Happy Birthday. We served the pie with scoops of lightly melted Tillamook vanilla bean ice cream on top. Cindy enjoyed her favorite birthday treat that I tailor made for her.
I’ve worked all winter on learning how to make
pies and it was worth the effort to watch her smile! I just updated her recipe so I don’t forget
it for next year. And I decided to share
it here with you, just in case you want to try it.
New Twice-Baked Sour Cherry Pie
slightly tweaked from Melissa Clark
with David Lebovitz's
butter pie crust
Butter Pie Dough
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and chilled
7 to 8 tablespoons ice water
In your mixer bowl with the paddle attachment combine the
flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the
butter and mix until the butter chunks are ¼ inch big.
Pour in the 7 tablespoons of water all at once and mix until
the dough just starts to come together into a coarse dough. Add one more tablespoons of water if
Pour the dough out onto a cutting board and cut it in
half. Press each piece into a one inch
thick round disk and wrap with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to two days. They can also be frozen for up to two months.
I rolled out and shaped my pie shell crust. Make sure to press the crust into the pan so
it doesn’t slide down the sides of the pan. Then I froze it for 30 minutes to
prevent the crust from shrinking.
Then, I prebaked my pie shells at 375 degrees for twenty
minutes with a piece of foil and pie weights (beans) inside. While the pie
shells bake prepare the filling. I
removed the foil and weights and baked for 10 more minutes. Then add the filling.
Sour Cherry Pie
3 tablespoons instant tapioca, pulverized into a fine flour in my vita-mix
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, heaping
2 pounds sour cherry cherries, pitted and unthawed
4 tablespoons heavy cream, divided in half
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
raw sugar, for sprinkling
the tapioca in a vita-mix or coffee grinder.
Add the tapioca and cinnamon to the ¾ cup of sugar and stir together in
a bowl. Then combine the sugar mixture,
cherries, kirsch, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of cream together. Let sit while the crust bakes.
out the remaining disc of pie dough and using a round cookie cutter, cut out
circles of dough.
the crust is ready add the cherry mixture into the crust. Place the rounds of dough on top. Brush the dough with the reserved 2
tablespoons of cream and sprinkle raw sugar on top of the pie.
in oven and bake for 50 to sixty minutes.
Check on the pie after thirty minutes to see if the edges of the crust
are browning too quickly. Cover the
edges of the crust with foil if necessary. Bake until the crust is dark and
golden and the filling is burbling. My
pie took sixty minutes to bake.
the pie from the oven and let cool for 2 hours before serving. Sing Happy Birthday to the birthday
girl. Then serve the pie with generous
scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.