When I started this blog, I didn’t think I would be sharing so much of my home cooking. But when I am pleased with recipes, I love to share, so here we go again. (If this keeps up, I might have to self-publish a small cookbook!)
Anyway, I purchased a big container of cherries from Frecon Farms this past Thursday at The East Goshen Farmers Market . They were more tart than sweet, so today I thought “pie”. Pie is an all-American part of summer, isn’t it?
I also had some leftover fresh cranberries in the freezer, so a combo pie idea was born. I also have other summer cherry memories….
The summer between 9th and 10th grade my friend Lizzy and I went to Alsace (Strasbourg) courtesy of a trip sponsored by the Valley Forge Historical Society. I stayed with a family who owned a large working farm on the edge of a village called Stutzheim. One of the days I was there, I went with my host family’s daughter Marie-Claude to either a friend or relative’s home. We picked cherries right out of the trees, and they were so sweet. That was also where I saw pear trees with bottles in the trees and the pears growing inside the bottles for Poire William, an eau de vie distilled from pears. I also remember Marie Claude’s mother making these incredible tarts.
O.k., now that I am back from my trip down memory lane, back to the pie of it all. It ended up being a Cran-Cherry Pie with a Lattice-Crumble Topping. Would you like the recipe? It is out of my head today, so I had better write it down so I can do it again!
I also made the crust, and I made a sweet crust. In between I made a dry rub for the big thick steak for grilling this evening. I will serve that with the leftover pasta from last evening , and another salad. (And we decided no more pre-marinated Smithfield pork products as they are waaaaaaayyyyyy toooo ungodly salty.) But I will get to the dry rub later – and that is never an exact science, depends what herbs and spices leap off the spice rack at me. And a tip as we begin– do not wear a light-colored T-shirt when pitting cherries!
First the filling:
2 cups of white sugar
2 TB Calvados
2 TB Orange Juice
4 tablespoons corn starch
2 cups pitted fresh cherries
1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh cranberries (I thawed them, they were frozen)
Second the crust:
1 1/2 cups maybe a bit more of flour
6 Tablespoons cold butter (unsalted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 -4 tablespoons ice water (you might use more as today I think I actually used 5 to get the dough to the consistency I wanted)
Dash of cinnamon, some more grated fresh ginger (I love fresh ginger, so I will and do incorporate it where I can.)
Take a big mixing bowl. Toss in the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Mix together with a fork until blended.
Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should come together nicely and then form a ball, put it in a small bag, tie off the bag so the dough doesn’t dry out and then put the dough in the fridge for at LEAST one hour. Today my dough hung out and chilled for two hours as I had other things to do like make beds, etc.
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup quick cooking but not instant oatmeal (plain, not flavored)
1/4 cup flour
cinnamon and ginger to taste
Dead simple – cut the butter up into tiny pieces and toss with other ingredients into a bowl and get out your trusty pastry cutter (they call it a “pastry blender” too) and mix it all together until you have nice, uniform crumbs.
When your dough is chilled, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. [YOU WILL TURN THE OVEN DOWN TO 375 DEGREES WHEN YOU BAKE]
When your dough is thin enough, lay in pie plate – today mine was a nine or ten inch one. I prefer the vintage glass pie plates that are over safe. This is one I picked up at a church sale a few years ago, and I guess I should measure it, but I haven’t.
Trim the crust – it doesn’t have to hang over that much. Set scraps aside, do not throw away. Crimp or flute or whatever your pie crust edge. Take a tiny smidge of soft butter and coat the bottom of the crust – I saw it on a show with Chef Robert Irvine when he was making over a restaurant. Some people also paint egg white on the bottom of the crust. It is an anti-soggy thing.
Toss in your cran-cherry filling.
Cover the filling neatly with the crumble topping.
Now….the anal Martha Stewart in me surfaces….take your pie crust scraps I told you to set aside and make a new pastry ball and toss them back between two lightly floured pieces of saran wrap. Roll it out as thin and all that good stuff as you can get it. Take a small kitchen knife and cut 8 uniform “ribbons”. Weave the “ribbons” four on a side OVER the crumble topping and gently attach to pie crust edge. I even had a little extra left over after that and cut out some free form leaves and fashioned a little flower. I did not egg wash the top today, but you can. I cover the edge of my pie crust lightly with a tin foil ring so the edges do not singe.
After you make sure you have turned down your pre-heated oven to 375 degrees, place your pie on a baking sheet lined with a piece of that half parchment half foil paper, foil side up. Bake 45 to 50 minutes.
Trust me, this pie makes your whole kitchen smell awesome!
So, I told you we were grilling and I did a dry rub this morning, right? Today’s rub was salt, sugar, chipolte chili powder, sweet paprika, roast paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary, basil, oregano, cumin, a dash of Roopak’s Rajma Masala.
Bon apetit all!