A perfect mixture of tart and sweet is created by combining frozen tart cherries and dried cherries, each imparting their own flavor. An exceptional cherry pie for those who want that plump, juicy, "real" cherry flavor and texture without a great deal of effort. This pie is remarkable easy to achieve and takes little time, especially if you use a frozen pie crust. You may never use canned pie filling again!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the filling: Combine frozen cherries, dried cherries, sugar, tapioca, and almond extract into a large mixing bowl. Mix well. (It is NOT necessary for frozen cherries to be thawed first.) Let this mixture stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your crust...
For the crust: Use your favorite pie crust recipe, or use frozen. You will need enough for a double 9" pie, both the top and the bottom. Consider making a lattice for the top, along with leaf cutouts and/or other cherry-pie-appropriate pastry embellishments. (Remember if using Rolled FROZEN crusts straight from the freezer an hour or more on the counter may be necessary before usable. Place frozen pastry in the refrigerator the night before, or factor in sufficient time for thawing.)
Assemble the Pie: Line a 9" pie plate with half of your pastry. Give a quick stir to your filling and then fill the pie plate. Sprinkle top of filling with nutmeg (I grate nutmeg with a fine hand grater and use about twice what the recipe calls for, or 1/2 teaspoon instead of 1/4). Dot with butter. Cover with the top crust, cutting slits for steam to escape or create a lattice by cutting top pastry into strips. Crimp edges. The recipe does not call for an egg wash and a dusting of sugar but I normally do this, especially if I choose a solid, slit-top crust.
Baking the Pie: Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour or until top is golden and filling bubbly. If necessary cover the edge of the crust with foil to prevent over-browning. Let cool at least partly before cutting, if you can manage to wait. This is excellent served warm with ice cream, and unlike many cherry pies cuts remarkable well even if not cooled entirely.
Note: Although I have never tried this apparently two-10 ounce cans of unsweetened tart cherries, well drained, can be substituted for the frozen tart cherries. The dried cherries are fairly crucial to this recipe and can be found at specialty food stores. Many larger groceries stores will carry dried cherries in their organic or natural food section.
I make this pie in a slightly deeper-than normal glass pie pan. I decrease the oven temperature to 365, and other than increasing the ingredients by 1/4 make no other changes (except perhaps sugaring the top). It turns out perfectly. Aside from the flavor, which is perfect in my opinion for a cherry pie, I appreciate the plump cherries and the perfect amount of juice. This is one cherry pie where the bottom crust does not turn to mush and a slice can be cut and transferred to a plate without turning into a bowl of cobbler. Picture perfect.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (957g)|
|Recipe Makes: 8 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 112 (18%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 12.4g||17 %|
|Saturated Fat 3.9g||19 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 5.2g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 1.9g|
|Cholesterol 3.8mg||1 %|
|Sodium 135.4mg||5 %|
|Potassium 1574.8mg||41 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 128.2g||38 %|
|Dietary Fiber 15.4g||61 %|
|Sugars, other 112.8g|
|Protein 10.6g||15 %|
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Calories per serving: 617
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