Cherry Pie

cherry piePate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry):
• 2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoon (30 grams) granulated white sugar
• 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) ice water

Cherry Filling:
• 4 cups (960 ml) pitted, sweet or tart fresh cherries (can use 4 cups (960 ml) sweet or tart canned or bottled cherries, drained with 1/3 cup (80 ml) cherry juice reserved)
• 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar, or as needed
• 2 1/2 tablespoons (30 grams) quick cooking tapioca
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon Kirsch or 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
• 2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

Glaze:

• 2 tablespoons cream
• granulated white sugar

Garnish:
Softly whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream

Pate Brisee Pie Crust:
Place in a food processor flour, sugar and salt processing until blended. Add some butter and continue process until the mix resembles a coarse meal, which should take around 15 seconds. Pour one quarter of a cup - 60 ml - water in, slowly and steadily, through the feed tube so the dough can hold together if pinched. If needed, add some more water. Don’t process it more than thirty seconds.

Turn this dough on the work surface, gathering it in a ball. Divide it into halves, flattening both halves into a disk, covering with a plastic wrap, and refrigerating for about an hour before continuing. That will chill your butter and relax the flour gluten.

After it has chilled enough, take a part of the dough out of the fridge, placing it on a slightly floured ground. Roll the pastry in a 12-inch or 30 cm circle. (To stop the pastry from adhering to the counter and ensure uniform thickness, continue lifting up and twisting the pastry a quarter of a turn while you roll and always roll beginning from the middle of your pastry outwards. Fold the dough into half and aptly transfer it to a 9-inch or 23-cm pie pan. Brush any excess flour off and tuck the overhanging edges under itself. Crimping if desired. Refrigerate your pastry, while covered with a plastic wrap, while rolling out the rest of the pastry and making the cherry filling.

Meanwhile, remove the other round of pastry, rolling it into a 12-inch or 30-cm circle again. With a 2 1/2 inch star cookie cutter, make around 20 stars. Put the stars on the parchment paper-lined sheet, cover the with plastic wrap, and put in the fridge. Preheat your oven to 205 degrees C (425 degrees F) and put the oven shelf in the lower part of the oven.

Make the Cherry Filling: Place the cherries into a big bowl. Add the tapioca, salt, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, Kirsch and almond extract (if present) and gently toss in order to combine. If using canned fruit, also mix the 1/3 cup reserved cherry juice. Leave it sit for around 10-15 minutes and pour the mix into a prepared pie shell, dotting with 2 tablespoons or 25 grams of butter. Slightly brush the middle of the pastry shell using the egg wash. Start at the outside edges of your pie and place the cut pastry stars into a circular pattern above the cherries. Mak sure the tips of all stars touch. Once the top is entirely covered with your pastry stars, brush the whole surface using the cream. Dot with a bit of granulated white sugar.

Place the pie on a bigger baking pan, with parchment paper, for catching any spills. Bake your pie for around 15 minutes and reduce the oven to 350 degrees F (approx 177 degrees C). Continue baking the pie for around 25 - 35 minutes or alternatively until its crust is a golden brown color with the cherry juices starting to bubble. If the pie edges are browning up too quickly during baking, cover it with some foil.

Place the ready pie on a rack to cool for some hours. Eat at room temperature accompanied by vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream. Store any leftovers for 2 to 3 days at normal room temperature.

Yields a 9-inch (23 cm) pie.