Sweet Cherry Pie

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Did you know that Michigan harvests about 75 percent of the cherries produced in the United States?

Well neither did I… until I moved to Michigan.

Lately, I’ve been attempting to settle into my new surroundings in the land of blue and maize. It’s a somewhat daunting task when you have to keep up with a conversation where NYPD isn’t referring to the police but instead a pizza restaurant. I even had a “Five-Year Engagement” moment one weekend when I was at a picnic with Matt where he was discussing the art of conference presentations with his grad student friends. If the reference escapes you, it’s a great romcom about a spouse that follows his fiance to Ann Arbor, after which all sorts of misadventures begin to happen to the couple.

Regardless, I’m beginning to feel like I’m relatively settled in my new location after a month. Ann Arbor (or should I say A2) has a great little market called the Produce Station that I’ve frequented to get some locally grown fruit. Last time I was there, I picked up some Michigan cherries and decided that I would try my hand at making a pie. This was my attempt at doing something “Michigan-like” over the weekend.

This pie is a cinch to make, and it comes together rather quickly. The only part that will take some time is pitting the cherries. Make sure you wear some dark colored clothing so you don’t stain anything you’re wearing. Although Matt and I ate about 3/4 of the pie, I brought some of the leftovers into work. Considering it disappeared rather quickly, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll be happy if you give this pie a try.

Sweet Cherry Pie
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Ingredients
2 prepared pie crusts
4 cups pitted fresh cherries
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (adjust this according to the sweetness of your cherries)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Coarse sugar, for decoration

Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F. Stir together the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon and almond extract gently together in a large bowl. Gently place one prepared pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges to a half-inch overhang. Spoon filling into pie crust, discarding the majority of the liquid that has pooled in the bowl. Dot the filling with the bits of cold butter. Drape the second pie crust over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively. Brush the egg wash over pie crust, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Cut slits in the crust with a sharp knife, forming steam vents, and bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool on a rack.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
For quick clean up, bake your pie on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil. This way any of the filling that spills over can be easily cleaned up at the end.

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16 thoughts on “Sweet Cherry Pie

  1. I had no idea that Michigan is cherry central in the USA until I read this post – your pie looks lovely. It’s good to hear you are settling in well, it does take a bit of time in a new area so continued good wishes with putting down new roots. ;)

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  2. I love that sweet little heart cut-out. And cherry pie is my hands-down favorite dessert.

    And now I’m wondering about the intersections of my life–cherries, Ann Arbor (although I’ve only been there once), and people/bloggers. The other blogger I know from A2 (the winegetter) found me about a year ago when he commented on my post “Is blogging just another cherry-berry pie in the sky?” One comment led to another and we’ve since become such friends that we feel almost like we’ve extended our family…

    And coincidentally, all of the people I know in AA are closely connected to the University.

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    • Oh goodness, what a small world it really is! I love that cherries are a point of connection for you. I’m always surprised when my personal and blog life intersect and I find an intersection. I had completely forgotten that the winegetter was in Ann Arbor. Stefano over at Clicks & Corks had mentioned that but I think my mind was still mushy from moving details overload.

      It really feels like the city revolves around the university. After some job searching before I moved (one of my least favorite things) it was a relief to find something at the university. Students just started moving in this week so things have been bustling.

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  3. Omg you are making me CRAAAAAAVE pie!!! Haha I wish I could get your 5-year engagement reference but I will have to go watch it–sounds funny! I have a soft spot for the Ann Arbor (at least the idea of it) because I think one of my fav high school bands were named after the city–Anarbor? At least I assume so. Anyway, fantastic job with the pie!! If I see any more cherries on sale before summer’s over, I’m definitely making this!

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    • It’s such a funny movie, I loved it and would totally recommend it for a night in! I love your Ann Arbor connection, that’s fabulous! I don’t know the band, but I can only imagine that they were named after the city. Maybe they got started here :)

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  4. Well, my goodness! I have never pitted cherries in my life….peeled a few grapes….but never cherries. That is a sign, I would say, of a truely committed chef. Thank goodness I will be visiting A2 soon. I assume there will be a cherry pie in the fridge when we arrive?=) It sounds like you may have to be creative at keeping this delicious treat hidden from Matt until we get there.

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  5. What a gorgeous pie, Heather! I’m sure pitting the cherries must have been a pain but – I can tell – it was worth it!
    Glad to hear that you are starting feeling settled in your new home. I have been changing location every four/five years so I know exactly what you have been through.
    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! :-)

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