Let's get this out of the way: I am no expert when it comes to cooking dinner. But I can attest that I have an unmatched penchant for baking, and I like to think I'm not too shabby. There's something about baking that feels so therapeutic to me…from measuring out the ingredients to reading over the recipe with a cup of coffee in hand…there's no other way I'd rather spend a quiet weekend morning. Most of my baking skills were learned from my mother, which were learned from her mother, my grandmother, an Italian Chef. Blessed with a ledger of recipes passed down for generations, I have no doubt my love for baking is in my blood. (As is my sweet tooth.) Though there were a million things my mom and I did together when I was growing up (Saturday morning roller-skating sessions, for one) spending time together in the kitchen was my favorite way to spend the day. My sugary appetite was never more satisfied than when I learned to bake something new, then indulge in my greatest feat yet.
Which brings me to the recipe I'll be sharing today: Classic Cherry Pie. Is there anything better, sweeter, more delicious to come home to after a long summer day? If there is, I certainly don't know of it. Especially if there's a scoop of vanilla bean on top. Cherries are in season in early to mid summer, so its best to make a fresh cherry pie during the early summer months. (Sour cherries are usually only available during the early season.) But if you can get your hands on some good cherries toward the end of summer, this pie is worth making, even if only to savor the last few days of sweetness summer has to offer.
Baking pie was something that always seemed like work, but I've found that there are some ways to make it a bit easier, as long as you follow one simple rule: don't go for perfection. My cherries aren't pitted perfectly, my filling oozed onto my crust. It still tastes amazing. As long as the flavor is there, a pie is A-ok in my book. And with this recipe, you'll have nothing to worry about.
Sweet-as-Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust
- I like to use this recipe from smitten kitchen. (I rely on a good classic recipe, just like everyone else.) This guide to rolling out & crimping dough is also super informative if you don't have a lot of experience. If you prefer to skip the dough-making process completely (I sometimes do), store-bought is always a good reliable option.
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups of fresh pitted cherries (about 2 pounds of whole, unpitted cherries)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if using dark, sweet cherries. For sour cherries, add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.)
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Vanilla Bean ice cream (I recommend Talenti, it has the most amazing flavor.)
- Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Whisk together 1 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice and vanilla, set aside.
- Roll out 1 piece dough on floured surface to a 12 inch round. Transfer to pie dish and trim overhang to about 1/2 inch. Roll out second dough piece to a 12 inch round, cut 10 3/4 strip pieces from dough.
- Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter. Lay dough strips atop filling, forming lattice. (This guide explains it well.) Trim strip ends to 1/2 inch, fold bottom crust up over strip ends and crimp edges together. Brush strips (not edges) with milk, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
- Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown, about an hour more. Cover crust edges with foil if they begin to brown too quickly. Let pie cool completely, cut into wedges and top with a scoop of vanilla.