There’s nothing that says Fourth of July to me like a homemade cherry pie. Back in the day, when Gourmet was still around, or July 2007 to be exact, we saw the most beautiful cherry pie featured on the magazine’s cover and knew we had to give it a try. We made it with M’s mother and father who came to visit us for the holiday weekend.
The wonderfully flaky crust and the sour cherry, cinnamon-enhanced filling combine to create a delicious, fairly easy to make pie, as far as pies go. Throw in the fact that M is a true “dough whisperer” and that is how a tradition was born.
We made it again in the summer of 2009 and then again this year. I’m not sure what happened in the summer of 2008 or why we didn’t make the pie that year, but that is history and I have vowed not to repeat it.
Part of the fun, or frustration, depending on how things shake out, is finding the sour cherries. Like Meyer lemons, they too have a season. Lucky for us, we work steps away from the Union Square Green Market, one of the best in the country and certainly the best in New York. This year I learned, thanks to the friendly woman working the Samascott Orchards booth (I miss you Kinderhook) that the lighter colored sour cherries are not as sour as the deep red colored ones, the ones that I always mistook for sweet cherries.
The filling is really easy to make after the laborious pitting task is completed. The cherries are tossed with cinnamon, vanilla, cornstarch, tapioca and sugar and then allowed to rest for a while. The pie crust is somewhat more complicated but not overwhelmingly so.
That’s it. This pie is outrageously good and, once cool, keeps nicely on the counter until it slowly disappears slice by slice over a nice three-day weekend.
Here is the recipe…