A few weeks ago I made the most delish cherry pie I have ever eaten. I mean, it was unreal how good it was. I wasn’t prepared for it to be so tasty. My parents were visiting from out of town so we had them over for a BBQ. Like I said, I didn’t know this recipe was going to turn out so well and my parents were over as it was coming out of the oven so I was not able to get great pictures of it. But I think its still worthy of sharing.
A friend of mine had given me a giant bowl of cherries from her yard. She had way too many and wanted someone to use them up. I thought, what a great excuse to practice my pie crust. The first time I made pie crust it completely fell apart and did not work at all. I think it was because I worked the dough too much with my hands and melted the butter. Lesson learned. This time went a lot better. The crust was a perfect consistency when rolling out. The only thing I might change is trying to bake the crust a bit first before adding the cherry filling. When I pulled the pie out of the oven it looked perfect and brown on the top but it wasn’t fully cooked on the bottom, as a found out once I had sliced into it. I’ll try a different method when I make my apple pie next.
Bourbon is a new love of mine. I’m a fan of whiskeys and other spirits but this was the first time I had experimented with bourbon in my cooking. Now I’ve been sipping it after a long day as my night cap. Just add a cube of ice and I’m in heaven.
Pitting the cherries was probably the most tedious part of this recipe. It’s a good thing I have a handsome helper. My man is the best cherry pitter around!
3 cups all-purpose flour, (1,020 g) plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup cold buttermilk, (78 ml) plus more if needed
6 cups pitted cherries (fresh or frozen and not defrosted; (1,120 g)
3⁄4 cup (150 g) white sugar
1⁄4 cup (30 g) cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 tsp fine sea salt
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) bourbon whiskey
Make the crust –
1. Place the flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles small peas. Do not over work with your hands. You don’t want the butter to melt too much.
2. Pour in the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon, drizzling in more 1 tbsp of buttermilk at a time, until the dough just comes together (a few dry spots are ok). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead until no dry spots remain, about 1 minute.
3. Divide the dough in half. Shape each piece into a circular disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. At this point you can place the dough in the fridge for up to one week or use as directed in your recipe.
Make the pie –
1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, preheat to 425ºF (220ºC). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
2. To make the filling, in a large bowl whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt to combine. Add the cherries and bourbon to a large saucepan on medium heat, toss in sugar mixture and stir until combined, simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens around the cherries. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before filling your pie crust.
3. Spoon the fruit and juices into the chilled crust, smoothing it flat. You can do a weave on top like I did. Cut pieces of different thickness, braid smaller pieces together and weave them into the pattern. I cut out little cherries with the left over dough and created a nice decoration on the side. Brush the rounds with the cream or milk and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
4. Place the pie on the lined baking sheet. Bake at 425ºF (220ºC) for 15 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 375ºF (190ºC) and continue baking until the crust is golden and the fruit is bubbling thickly, 35–50 more minutes.