Sweet Cherry Pie + A Chance to Win a $50 Whole Foods Market Gift Card

Here we are in the thick of summer. It's about the time of year when I realize that shaving my legs everyday is a must, because you just can't slack in that department if you're planning to wear shorts often. Bikini waxing (ugh), that's also a thing. But there are also fun things to consider like biking everywhere in sandals, happy hour and summer patios, and no limits to the amount of ice cream that we will eat during the months of June, July, and August. It's summertime.

Currently, cherries are $5.99/lb, which is way better than $8.99/lb. At $8.99/lb, 2 pounds is close to twenty dollars, and I never buy them at that price, because I am always that person who is completely shocked when 20 dollars pops up onto the register screen (because the bag of cherries looked so small), and I always embarrassingly ask the cashier to take them off my bill. I've had this encounter one too many times, that I pretty much avoid them until they are a reasonable price (except for that 2 lb bag of sour cherries I just bought online for $15). Pretty soon cherries will be $3.99/lb, and by that time I will be so completely sick of them that it won't even be worth it. $3.99/lb also signifies the end of summer in my books, and for that reason alone, I will turn up my nose to those late summer cherries in disbelief that summer has to come to an end. Currently, at $5.99/lb, I am eating cherries everyday. I have recently learned about this new way to remove the pits with a paper clip (which is a novelty right now) so naturally I am de-pitting like it's my full time job. Give it a week, and I'll have a few things to say about cherry pits.


It's summer, so naturally we all want to make berry and stone fruit pies, because we have been waiting all winter for this, am I right? My absolute favorite pie is sour cherry pie. No questions. (If you know where I can get my hands on some fresh sour cherries in Seattle, I would be so grateful.) Just got the inside scoop from a friend, and I will be taking home 2lbs of sour cherries this weekend! Is it weird to post another recipe for pie next week?

Back home, sour cherries were a big deal. I remember we were able to buy them all summer long. This week, I decided that I can't keep living my life without any cherry pie, so I decided to create a recipe using the big dark juicy sweet Bing cherries that we see here often. If you don't have access to Bing cherries, you can use any sweet cherry available. I wouldn't try substituting sour cherries though, as this recipes calls for little sugar due to the high sweetness in the Bing cherries. A sour cherry pie would need much more sugar.

So, let's talk about this new exciting way to de-pit cherries. First, you need a paper clip, which finding one is probably the hardest part of this whole operation. Pull open the paper clip so that both of the curved sides are on opposite ends. Insert the paper clip into the cherry, on the stem side. Twist it in a full circle and then pull out the pit. Game changer. The result is a perfectly pitted cherry, minimal cherry juice explosions, and if you can entice your friends over with the promise of pie, I am sure they will help you de-pit 6 pounds of cherries willingly.


Once said cherries are de-pitted by your wonderfully helpful friends, slice them in half. The Bing cherries are so large (much larger than your typical sour cherry), so halving them results in the perfect cherry to bite ratio. Toss them in a bowl with sugar, salt, and corn starch. I heated them on the stove slightly, just to start the starch gelatinization early, and to ensure a nice thick filling. The crust recipe is one that I make often. It is a simple recipe. Sometimes I use a food processor, sometimes a pastry blender. The key is too use very cold butter, frozen even, and to avoid handling the dough for long periods. You want to keep it very cold. I froze my butter (accidentally) for two days. I removed it from the fridge, tried to cut it into pieces for the dough and it started splintering apart. I though this might create some problems, but it turns out that 2-day frozen butter works pretty well at creating a rich buttery flaky crust.  Once it came out of the oven, it tasted of a sweet medley of the most amazingly sweet cherries uncased in a buttery rich croissant-like crust. I was definitely having an on-day in the world of pie making. I wont tell you about my major pie-fail the week before.



Because I am such a lover of cherries, pie, and cherry pie, I am giving away a $50 gift card to the Whole Foods Market, where you can pick up the most deliciously fresh and juicy cherries to make a pie, or a crumble, or a clafoutis. Or you could roasted them with peaches and top with goat cheese and pistachios and a drizzle of honey. I've been to Whole Foods a few times last week and the week before, just for the cherries. Ok, and also for the amazing salad bar, and those hot fresh sandwiches. I could probably spend a few hours eating my way through that store.

CONTEST NOW CLOSED
To enter simply leave a comment below sharing your favorite recipe to make with cherries, along with your name. Contest closes July 7, 2014 at midnight PST. A winner will be chosen then.

WINNER!


My favorite fresh cherry dessert is sour cherry and peach pie with an oatmeal crumble crust. The best way to eat it? FOR BREAKFAST!!!!

 
SWEET CHERRY PIE
makes 1 - 9 " double crusted pie
notes: I used Bing cherries, but you could use any cherry with a high sugar content. Sour cherries will not work though, and they would require much more sugar. 

crust ingredients
2 1/2 cups (330 g) all purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, frozen
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water

filling ingredients
2 lb sweet cherries, pitted and cut in half
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp almond extract

1 egg, beaten
coarse sugar



To make the crust:
Fill a small bowl with a handful of ice and a cup of cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Remove the butter from the freezer and cut into small dime size pieces. Add the butter to the flour and cut in using a pastry blender, until the mixture is crumbly. Alternatively, you could pulse in a food processor.

Add 1/4 cup of the cold ice water to the flour mixture and combine with a spatula. Continue adding water, a tbsp at a time, until the dough starts to stick together. Dump the dough onto the counter, and shape into a ball, working quickly so that the butter does not melt with the warmth of your hands. Divide the dough into two pieces, shape them into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.

To make the filling:
While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling.

Wash, de-stem, and de-pit the cherries. My favorite method to de-pit cherries is using a paperclip. Follow this link for a youtube tutorial on how to de-pit cherries using a paperclip.

Cut the cherries in half, and place into a medium saucepan with the sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, and almond extract. On low heat, simmer for a few minutes until the juice starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and place into the fridge to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Remove one piece of dough from the fridge. Sprinkle some flour onto the counter. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a thin sheet. A little less than 1/4 inch thick. Apply flour as needed. Place the dough into the pie plate, press into the corners, and trim away any excess dough. Place into the freezer while you roll out the second sheet.

Roll out the second sheet in a similar fashion. Scoop the filling into the pie shell, and place the second sheet of dough on top. Trim away any excess dough, and pinch seems together. Shape the crust into any desired pattern, follow this link for 23 beautiful patterns. Brush the crust with the beaten egg, and top with coarse sugar (optional).

Place a piece of parchment paper underneath the pie pan, and bake for 45 - 50 min, until the crust is golden brown and filling bubbly. Remove from the oven and let cool. Can be stored in the fridge for a week. Room temperature for two days.

67 comments:

  1. I'm totally over the moon about this cherry pitting method. Game changer! I love cherry pie but have always thought one needs sour cherries to be able to create an unforgettable pie experience (I tried to make a sweet cherry pie à la Twin Peaks once but the result was rather bland). Unfortunately, it's very hard to find sour cherries around here so I've been living on cherry pie deprivartion for quite a while now (sad face). This pie, however, looks stunning and I'm pretty sure it tastes amazing as well. Can't wait to put my butter in the freezer and bake a cherry pie! Thanks for being such a constant source of inspiration, Heather!

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  2. Great pictures! And great friends de-pitting cherries for you! I love a cherry pie, but my all season favourite is almond cherry scones. Genevieve HC.

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  3. A big ass bowl of cherry whip and plate of cookies to dip!

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  4. Cherry crumble, with extra crumble of course!

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  5. I love cherries straight off the vine so I like to use them as a topping on crostinis with whipped feta and a sprinkle of crushed pistachios and a bit of olive oil.

    - Jaime

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  6. Cherrrrries. yum. This looks delicious! Favorite cherry recipe has to be cherry cobbler.
    -Victoria

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  7. Fave recipe to make with cherries. . other than eating them straight up? Cherry Pie or cherry scones. . I also recently made cherry chocolate chip muffins. . basically anything baked! From, Alice Choi

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  8. I absolutely love cherries... and I get you on that $8.99/lb dilemma. I love to snack on them plain, but have been dying to make a cherry galette! :)

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  9. I was surprised to see someone else uses paper clips for cherry pitting. I just read using straw is supposed to work good, too, but I haven't tried it! My favorite recipe to make is vodka cherries - no need to pit them, either! Great photos! Rosie

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  10. Oh! I never bake much with cherries but I love them straight out of the container :) or on top of some yogurt!
    - Jennifer

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  11. My name is Jade Sheldon-Burnsed and I make a mean gluten free cherry crumble. It's perfect to take on picnics, eat in the morning for a special breakfast, etc.

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  12. Hooray for pie! And just look at all those beautiful ripe cherries. I love it! I've successfully used the paperclip method of pitting cherries for quite some time--so convenient. And my favorite way to use cherries is just to eat them plain! But muddling them up into a cocktail with lemon and vodka is a close second. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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  13. My name is June Baby and my favorite cherry dessert is probably pie. Just like this. :)

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  14. I never cook with cherries, primarily because I love them so much, and I can eat faster than I can pit, so they would just never make it to the oven. However, lately I've been using them for secondary fermentation of kombucha. I split a single cherry and put it at the bottom of the bottle, sometimes with ginger, then fill the bottle and let it sit for a few days. It produces a lovely color and carbonation and a nice, subtle cherry flavor and tartness.

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  15. I make a simple green smoothie with them! Usually with cherries, spinach, almond milk and ice. Chocolate protein powder is optional :)

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  16. My favorite cherry recipe is grilled cherry-ricotta flatbread!

    Use your favorite pizza-dough recipe(I use a combination of spelt and wheat flour), and roll the dough into a rectangle shape.

    Spread a layer of ricotta cheese on top (If I'm being really good I'll make my own), being sure to cover all the edges. Fold the sides of the crust about two inches over, pocketing the cheese. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, pit the cherries and toss them in a very small amount of honey. Grill them however you like.

    Sprinkle the cherries atop the ricotta flat-bread. Garnish with some chopped pistachios, and put it back in the oven for about 5 minutes.

    Enjoy! Cut into smaller rectangles for an appetizer or larger ones as a main dish!

    xoxo,
    Alena

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  17. I love to make chocolate cherry cheesecake! But pie is pretty high on my list too!
    Laura @ My Friend's Bakery

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  18. A tradition in my family, which I have come to love is making cherry bounce from sour cherries. 2 lbs of tart cherries and 4 cups of brandy. Add some sugar and shake everyday. Serve at thanksgiving as an aperitif.
    Just so delicious and perfect to sip through the winter. Be sure to eat the leftover brandy infused cherries over ice cream. Decadent.

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  19. Cherry pie! Though I mostly just eat them on their own, or dried cherries in granola.

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  20. i like freezing cherries then blending them to make a frozen treat

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  21. My favorite fresh cherry dessert is sour cherry and peach pie with an oatmeal crumble crust. The best way to eat it? FOR BREAKFAST!!!!

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  22. I really enjoy cherry pie; you can't go wrong with a delicious pie crust!

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  23. i love my cherry pie with french vanilla ice cream

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  24. I love cherry ice cream! My favorite recipe uses a can of full fat coconut milk, about a cup of frozen cherries, a cup of frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 tbsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp almond extract, and a dash of salt. Left this way it's vegan and gluten free, but I like it with mini chocolate chips. Also good with about 1/4 cup of slivered almonds! Throw it all in the blender, then freeze in an ice cube tray. Once it's hard frozen, pop the cubes out and blend again, then transfer it all to a big tub for freezing. Serve and smile!

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  25. Chilled cherry soup made with red wine and cinnamon is my favorite!

    -Alisha

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  26. Pitting the cherries is totally worth it. Love this pie - it's gorgeous!

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  27. We're cherry-mad around here: galettes and clafoutis make regular appearances during cherry season (and out of season the dried ones find their way into everything from morning cereal to after-dinner chocolates…), but recently we've found that if we make them into a compote, with a bit of vanilla sugar and a hard splash of kirsch, we can eat them over almost anything (shortcakes, goat cheese toasts, ice cream, waffles, dark chocolate brownies, wedges of almond torte … sorry, must run, getting hungry …)

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  28. Sadly your handy little paper clip tip came too late for me as it would have been quite useful for the cherry clafoutis I made last week. And completely agree about the sticker shock when you realize what the heck is pushing my grocery bill $17 dollars higher than normal...other culprits include champagne or springing for the dry aged steak.

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  29. I enjoy cherry as what it is with one exception of sour cherry. I like to use sour cherry in pie, jam, and cake, which is absolutely divine. --Ting

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  30. I love them in Greek yogurt!

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  31. LOVE me some cherry, dark chocolate pancakes!

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  32. Hi! I have been waiting to try a cherry pie until I can get my hands in the big bagful that would make that possible. I can't wait to try this recipe and love that you heat the filling. In the meantime I love taking my whole foods cherries and dipping them in chocolate a la alice medrich via food 52. She has you chill the cherries first so the chocolate sticks. It was heavenly.

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  33. Karlyn Bennett03 July, 2014

    My fave is cherries in a pie with a flaky, melt in your mouth crust

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  34. Favorite way is fresh, second favorite is home made cherry jam (which I will be making and canning this weekend so I have some in the dead of winter). I too will be making a cherry pie this weekend (cherries on sale here for less than a dollar a pound). Just started putting Ranier's on my cereal in the morning. Yum! Delish!

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  35. beautiful pics. I love that you made this with sweet cherries!

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  36. My favorite way to use cherries is in pies and tart, or maybe cheesecake.

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  37. I like to make a cherry cobbler.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  38. I love cherries all be themselves, just plain. But that cherry pie sure does look yummy.

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  39. Brandied cherries, definitely! Makes a great gift.

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  40. i like making cherry pie, easy :)
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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  41. I love basically everything with cherries, but especially ice cream!

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  42. My favorite recipe to make with cherries is cherry cobbler

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  43. Heather C04 July, 2014

    I like to puree cherries and add them to my basic recipe for vinaigrette. It goes well on a spinach or kale salad. Tastes like summer!

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  44. I love to eat them by the handful, as is. But cherry ice cream--with chocolate--is super awesome too!

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  45. I love cherries paired with peaches! Peaches with Balsamic Cherries is a great light and refreshing dessert - perfect for the summertime. It's a breeze to make, takes only minutes, and you don't have to worry about a hot oven heating up your kitchen all day. Here is a good recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/peaches-with-balsamic-cherries-recipe.html
    The way the balsamic balances the sweetness of the fruit makes it addicting! It's easy to serve at a BBQ or gathering since there's no need to worry about keeping it a certain temperature or slicing it.
    Another favorite would be a rustic cherry-peach galette with ice cream on top. Mmm! Thank you for the new cherry pitting method! I will have to give it a try!

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  46. My favorite cherry recipe involves chocolate! There is decadent gooey brownie recipe that doesn't mind a few sultry cherries tossed in for some summer sizzle that my family enjoys each summer.

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  47. I love making a cobbler with cherries . contact at - twitter.com/sandyhills25

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  48. Anonymous04 July, 2014

    I love making a cobbler with cherries . -shaunie contact at - twitter.com/sandyhills25

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  49. massaged kale with cherries, goat cheese, avocado, sunflower seeds and a nice vinaigrette!

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  50. I love to make cherry crumble, but I absolutely love to just eat plain Rainier cherries out of the bowl!

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  51. I love making a sweet-savory sauce with cherries, red wine, and stock to accompany with sauteed chicken!

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  52. My favorite is just eating cherries right off the stem in summertime. Brings back lovely memories of my childhood.

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  53. Cherry barbecue sauce smothered on smashed steak skewers!

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  54. Cherry and stone fruit crumbles are my go to. Also bourbon cherries are delicious straight out of the jar or topping a raw homemade cheesecake!

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  55. Cherry barbecue sauce smothered on smashed steak skewers!

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  56. Anonymous06 July, 2014

    I love to make persian saffron rice with cherries! So amazing!

    lumpy_lump_in_my_oatmeal@yahoo.com

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  57. Cherries rarely make it into any recipe around here; they just get eaten straight. Though I do also love them chopped up with dark chocolate and stirred into Greek yogurt.

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  58. I LOVE Paula Deen's Sweet Black Cherry Crisp! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/sweet-black-cherry-crisp-recipe.html - I even sugar & freeze cherries to make this in the middle of winter, but it can be done with freshly sugared cherries, too!

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  59. I haven't cooked a lot with cherries, but I like to eat them. Pie is good.

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  60. I love homemade cherry ice cream with chocolate shavings on top!

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  61. This is pitting advice is amazing! I always feel so intimidated because I don't have a proper cherry pitter, but this paper clip technique will change that!

    I love a good, hot cherry cobbler with some vanilla ice cream on top. Simple, but such a special summer treat for me!

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  62. My husband and I love to make cherry ice cream with chocolate chunks in our ice cream maker!

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  63. My favorite cherry recipe to make of course has to be cherry pie :)

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  64. Beautiful! Your blog is gorgeous.
    We loved the sweet cherries we picked up in Seattle on our honeymoon a few years back. Looking forward to trying this out!

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  65. yum! cherry pie.. how can you go wrong! this looks divine.. definitely a recipe i will be saving to recreate. thanks for sharing!

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