When Marj comes to town, it’s pretty much a given that we’re going to bake. So when she offered to pick up cherries at her market in New York, I asked (OK, maybe told) her to bring a recipe to use them in as well. And did she deliver.
Other perks of this week’s recipe: I finally got to break in my new food processor! After a bit of technical difficulties (not with the machine, definitely with the operator), it worked wonders with making pie dough – a task I usually despise due to its labor-intensive pastry blending of cold butter. In fact, it worked so well that I gave it a place of honor on my countertop. I still stand by my stand mixer as best baking appliance ever, but food processor is coming in a very close second.
Other perks of baking with Marj: she took the pie away with her to our friends she was staying with! Resulting in my having a taste of pie, rather than having an entire pie. Shirlee, Jake and Caroline – hope you all enjoy it!
For the dough, first put the flour,sugar, and salt in the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until dough forms pea-sized pieces.Add water just until dough comes together into a ball. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour.
Meanwhile, pit the cherries. As Marj observed, cherries are not a fruit meant to be baked with. They are fruit meant to be eaten and pitted with your mouth, and the pits are meant to be spit into sand on the beach (that’s a Pickett family tradition). Both of our hands looked like we had slipped with the knives more than once.Stir in the sugar, triple sec, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Set aside.Meanwhile, roll out the dough into a circle on a floured mat.Flip it into a pie plate and push dough into sides and along top. This picture is the second before Marj smiled, but still cute since she’s modeling my yellow cupcake apron.Put the prepared crust in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the cornstarch into the cherries.Also, you should start the topping. Put the sugar, almonds, flour, coconut, and salt into a small bowl and stir to combine.Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until a wet sand texture is reached. Full disclosure, I could have used my food processor again, I just didn’t feel like cleaning it out.Pour the cherry mixture into the pie crust and bake on 400°F for 30 minutes.Next, sprinkle the topping to cover the top, and, if you’re crust is looking cooked enough, wrap the edges in tin foil. Bake on 375°F for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool (or at least not be piping hot) before cutting. Pies are cool because they’re a little less sensitive to ratios than other baked goods. If, for example, you eat a cup of cherries before you start pitting them, you still have a pie. If you decide coconut is delicious and more is better, you still have a pie.Pies are also cool because if they’re chilled, the fruit makes them seem like a breakfast food, but if they’re warm, some ice cream makes them a great summer dessert.
Basically, you should make this pie.
Cherry Pie with Coconut Almond Crumble
Pie Crust (Makes a Double Batch)
- 1 1/2 cups butter, cold
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup cold water
- 4 1/2 cups cherries, pitted
- 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons Triple Sec
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Coconut Almond Crumble
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, cold
- To make the pie crust, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until mixed.
- Add the butter, cut into cubes, and pulse until small pea-sized pieces form.
- Add enough water to make dough come together in a ball.
- Split dough into two balls. Wrap one in plastic wrap and tin foil and freeze for later use. Wrap the second in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- To make the filling, stir together the pitted cherries, sugar, Triple Sec, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the crumble topping by first whisking together the sugar, almonds, flour, coconut and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender until reaches texture of wet sand.
- When the crust has chilled, stir the cornstarch into the cherry filling mixture, and pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake on 400°F for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with coconut almond crumble, spread evenly. If crust is browned, cover edges in tin foil. Return pie to oven at 375°F for 30 minutes.
- Remove pie from oven and cool on a wire rack completely.