So I drove out to Brentwood and picked fresh bing cherries. My favorite cherry farmer grows a small crop, they sell out almost immediately, of a Bing relative called "Coral Champagne". Best bings ever. They are huge and sweet. A tip for those of you who pick your own cherries: taste a cherry from the tree before you pick...in the same grove, trees vary widely in sweetness.
I love picking my own fruit/vegies. Not necessarily less expensive, the cherries were $2/lb, but I get to pick and choose perfect fruit. As the season progresses I'll pick strawberries, boysenberries, ollalaberries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn, squash, etc.
Is that a beautiful pie?
I confess I am not a talented baker. I never even made pie (the crusts were so bad) until I found this easy recipe from Cook's Illustrated.
In a food processor combine:
2 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
12 T cold butter
8 T crisco
Process for 5-6 one second spurts
Pour into bowl.
Add 6-8 T ice cold water. Stir in with a spatula. Divide into 2. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling. Roll out two crusts (top and bottom).
Filling (you can substitute any fresh fruit/berries but need to compensate for juiciness):
6 cups fresh cherries, pitted
1 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t all aspice
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t lemon zest
2 T cornstarch
Mix all. Pour into bottom pie shell. Dot 2 T butter across top. Top with other crust. Brush with 1 egg white whipped with a bit of water for shiny crust. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and cook another 35-40 mintues.
Ok...I couldnt wait til it cooled down to cut it, so it was still a bit runny. I like thin juices for combining with ice cream. If you prefer thicker juices just add a bit more cornstarch.