Damn Fine Cherry Pie

Twin Peaks is a damn fine TV show. I was so thrilled it was back on, I decided to make some cherry pie to celebrate.

Unfortunately, I concluded somewhat belatedly that I don’t really like pie. I’ve had my suspicions for a while, but they were confirmed the last couple weeks. I am a crumble, a crisp, even a cobbler girl. But pie? I just don’t care for it.

It’s pretty fun to make though and tasted halfway decent, so I thought I might as well share it. For just the recipe, click here.

I started with the crust developed by Stella Parks over at Serious Eats. Its high butter and water content make for a flavourful, malleable, and incredibly flaky crust. I didn’t have unsalted butter, so I used salted butter and omitted the added salt. As for the filling, I relied on one from Oregon Fruit, with some adaptations.

It turns out sour cherries are hard to find in Northern Ontario, but I eventually found a couple jars in light syrup. Most recipes call for fresh or frozen cherries, but the Oregon Fruit pie recipe uses their unsweetened canned ones, I reduced the sugar to account for the light syrup in my cherries.

On a whim, I added some bitters and a splash of bourbon. I would add a bit of citrus zest and juice next time for even more oomph. But there won’t be a next time because… I guess I don’t like pie. I’d use the filling in a crumble though!

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The Black Lodge zigzag crust was something I’d seen on the cover of “Damn Fine Cherry Pie: the unauthorized cookbook inspired by the TV show Twin Peaks.”

My version is admittedly sloppy. I blame my poor hand-eye coordination on missing kindergarten. I don’t share, sing, or write nicely either.

If nothing else, this pie served as the perfect vehicle for some bourbon vanilla ice cream, we are addicted. Pie with ice cream – or pie a la mode – was invented in Duluth, Minnesota, if the stories I’ve heard are true. I happened to be there last week and give it a try at the Duluth Grill. It was good, but it also sparked the beginnings of my “maybe I don’t like pie” suspicions.

Anyway, enough chit chat. Here are the two recipes I used. If you like pie, you’ll probably like it. If you don’t, I hear you. Soon I’ll attempt Twin Peaks-y doughnuts as an alternative tribute.

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Damn Fine Cherry Pie

Crust

Makes 2, 9 inch crusts, or 1 base and 1 top crust.
Based on one from Serious Eats

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup cold salted butter, cubed
1/3 – 1/2 cup cold water

Mix flour and sugar in a bowl, add cubed butter and toss to coat. Flatten the butter with your fingers. It will seem like huge pieces, this is fine.

Add the cold water and mix until a ball forms. It will be wetter than a typical dough, but shouldn’t be sticky. Add a touch more water if it’s crumbly. Wrap and put it in the fridge for half an hour or so.

Flour your counter and the dough well, and roll it out into a large rectangle. Fold it in half three times and roll out to whatever thickness you’d like.

Drape it over the pie shell and trim and shape your base. Put this in the fridge. While the bottom shell chills, cut out whatever pieces you would like for the topping from the scraps. Get weird, I like to use a cookie cutter to make cool shapes.

Store these in the fridge until read to bake.

Filling & Baking

Based on the recipe at Oregon Fruit

1/3 cup sugar
800 ml jarred sour cherries in light syrup
3 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp bitters
1 tbsp bourbon

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Drain the cherries and keep the syrup, cook the syrup with the sugar and cornstarch over medium heat until thick and translucent.

Add the cherries, bitters, and bourbon.

Pour the filling into the crust, crimp it or whatever you like to do to your crust, and bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is nice and bubbly. Rotate halfway, and put some foil around the crust to keep it from burning.

Let the pie cool for at least a few hours – this is very important for it to thicken up!

Top with ice cream and devour, or give to friends because you don’t actually like pie that much but had fun making it.

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