Before this summer, if you had said “cherry pie,” a crust filled with gelatinous-y marble shapes would have popped into my head.
That was before I met Ellen Gray. She is a “pie-o-neer woman” as she likes to say. Cherry was one of the eight pies we baked for the Longhouse Food Revival. I looked at her with an enormous amount of skepticism when she suggested we make cherry.
Then a white bucket of fruit, swimming in their juices, arrived from Wisconsin. Ellen’s eyes turned into saucers as she pried back the lid. I placed a cherry on my tongue. It looked something like the maraschino cherries that I only eat after 1 am. But instead, I tasted summer. Sweet and tart at the same time.
I tasted this same sensation on Thanksgiving when I made Kate Lebo’s cherry-cranberry pie. Like Ellen, Kate knows the balance of sugar and lemon. Cherry and cranberry. Swoon and pucker.
Makes one pie//Kate Lebo’s Pie School
- Double crust pie dough
- 3 cups fresh or frozen pie cherries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 1/2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Egg white wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
- Demerara sugar for sprinkling
Take your pie dough out of the fridge and roll out the bottom crust. Fit it into a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. Return to fridge.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the cherries and cranberries with the granulated sugar, lemon juice, almond extract, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the flour and butter and set aside.
Roll out the top crust and cut it into strips for a lattice. Retrieve the bottom crust from the fridge. Pour the filling into the bottom crust. Weave the lattice strips accordingly. Trim, fold and crimp the edges. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Place the pie in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust looks blistered. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden and the juices bubble.