I must shamefully admit that, No, I have NEVER experienced Fresh Cherry Pie.
I've had "bakery" cherry pies from the grocery store (Ick!). I've had frozen cherry pies. I've made "fresh-ish" pies from canned cherry filling (High-Fructose Corn Syrup, anyone?!). And I've had "fresh" cherry pies from Marie Callender's and Heidi's Pies (family-owned restaurant in San Mateo, CA).
Well. I had NO clue what I'd been missing. No sirree! No clue whatsoever!!!
So a couple of days ago, I succumbed to temptation, and delusion, and what-EVER, and loaded up on produce from our local farm-stand, Giordano's. (Note: I get no "spliff" or nuthin' for posting links. I just LOVE Giordano's farm-stand THAT MUCH, k?!)
Yeah, they had a display like this:
Okay, this is actually an older photo and they didn't have *quite* this many cherries...
But the display was still irresistible and I loaded up on several pounds' worth... All of Giordano's cherries are picked, on-site, on the day they are sold. They are amazingly delicious!
So I picked up a large basket of Rainiers (the yellowy-orange variety) and - I think - a large basket of Brooks. Bings are nearing the end of the season (:::sigh:::). The cherries sat on our countertop for a couple of days (and I ate handfuls of cherries 'til I was damn-near sick!).
Well, today... After catching-up on work emails, I determined that it was going to be a blissfully slow day so I dragged out my Cherry-Pitter (Christmas Prezzie from hubs - Yay, hubs!)...
Note: This is a very cool li'l gizmo and a HUGE time-saver.
But it is NOT foolproof. We discovered more than a few pits in the pie.
(Ooooops!) ("Oh well!" Just proves it's home-made, right?!)
And I ended up with a bowl-full of cherries that looked something like this:
And I consulted the Great Oracle, Google and found this (which was dutifully "Pinned").
And I ended up with THIS:
Okay, so I followed the recipe, pretty-closely, but I'll repost it with my Low-Sugar Mods and "suggested improvements"
QT's Orgasmically Delicious Low-Sugar Fresh Cherry Pie
Yield: One 9" deep-dish pie
Time: ~30 mins prep time. ~50 mins cooking time
- 4 cups of sweet cherries, pitted and de-stemmed (I used appx 50/50 Rainier and Brooks) (Forgot to weigh 'em - sorry!)
- 4 TBS Tapioca
- "just shy of" 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- "slightly more than" 1/2 cup granulated Splenda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract (the real-deal). Orig recipe called for 1/2 tsp
- 1/8 tsp almond extract (again, real). Orig recipe called for 1/4 tsp (but I think that's too much. I used that qty and it tasted too almondy, IMHO)
- 1 TBS softened butter
- 2 crusts for a 9" deep-dish pie (I cheated and went with store-bought, frozen [bottom] and refrigerated roll-out [top])
- 1 egg white and a smidge of water
- Pre-heat your oven to 450*. While it's pre-heating, rinse and pit your cherries.
- Thaw your crusts (if you're lazy like me), but keep 'em cool in the fridge.
- Dump the pitted cherries in a bowl. Add tapioca, salt, sugar/splenda, vanilla and almond extracts. Stir as best you can (Mine was pretty dry - but that's a GOOD thing! I'm not fond of gushy-goozy pies!).
- Beat your egg-white + smidge of water (maybe a tsp?) lightly with a fork. Remove bottom crust from the fridge and brush egg-white on the bottom crust.
- Dump your fruity/sugar mixture into the crust. It can "heap" a little bit, but not too much (unless you want fruit goozing out!). Blorp butter blops on top of the fruit (say that three-times fast!)
- Dampen the outer edges of the bottom crust with a wet finger. Unroll your top crust and place it on top of the bottom crust. Cut off excess and squidge the top + bottom crusts together with your fingers to seal 'em together.
- Cut vent hole(s) in the top.
- Brush the top crust with more of the egg-white (you'll have too much egg-white - don't worry about it!)
- Place the pie in your pre-heated oven and cook @ 450* for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 375 and cook for an add'l 35-40 minutes 'til the fruit is bubbly and the top is brown.
- Allow pie to mostly-cool before serving.
TOTALLY enjoy it!
Here's a couple more pics of the pie "Under Construction:"
Mixing the pie-guts
Yes, it's dry - but this is GOOD. It makes for a non-gloopy pie!
Filling the bottom crust.
Don't forget to blorp butter on top!
Fresh out of the oven
It smelled *almost* as good as it tasted!
Yep. I am FOREVER spoiled now and will NEVER look at a Bakery Cherry Pie the same way again...