Now that summer is finally here, I’ve been craving pie in a big way. One, because it’s a gloriously simple dessert that encapsulates all the flavours of summer in a golden, flaky crust.
And the second reason, is because in a few short days, a couple of girls and I will be headed on an epic road trip to Brooklyn New York, to visit the world famous, Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop! I’m beyond excited about this little getaway, and I’ve already made peace with the fact that one of those days I might just only eat pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I might stand in line for a long time to get pie. I might pay a fortune for pie.
New York Pie.
My life is complete.
But, in the meantime, first of the season cherries are out! Which means, I’m headed to New York with very stained fingers. And two ruined shirts. And a belly full of sweet cherries.
I spotted the sweet cherries at market a few days ago and in my usual style, promptly purchased pounds of them without a single thought about what exactly I was going to do with them, with only days before my big trip. Because in truth, the digestive system can only handle so many cherries in one sitting, okay?
You might be surprised to know, that the very first thing I did was to infuse a few pounds of those summer jewels, into some Kentucky Bourbon. In a few weeks time, we will enjoy some of those booze soaked cherries on ice cream or in cocktails. Perhaps even layered in a Black Forest Cake.
After pitting and freezing a few bags for winter, the next order of business was pie. And since I had that bottle of 81 proof Bourbon still sitting on the counter, I thought why not? Sweet dark cherries, a hint of citrus and a splash of Bourbon sounds good to me. And, it’s slightly reminiscent of an Old Fashioned Cocktail, which I can make when my soaked cherries are ready.
Do you see how this is coming full circle?!
We all thoroughly enjoyed this pie. It’s not cloyingly sweet, and has a slight after taste that lets you know there’s a little extra something, something in there. Ice cream or whipped cream really wasn’t needed, as it stands so well on its own. A definite recipe keeper for sure!
So that’s it, I’ve stocked the freezer with sausage dogs and pizza and I’m leaving a piece or two of this Cherry-Bourbon Pie on the counter while I’m out, with cherry stained fingers, exploring all of the amazing food that New York has to offer. See you when I return!
For the Pastry:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup Crisco Shortening
- 4-6 tbsp cold orange juice
- Stir the salt and flour in a medium bowl. Cut in the Crisco, with a pastry knife (pieces should be about the size of peas). Sprinkle on orange juice and stir with a fork just until it holds together. Divide the dough into two and press each half into a smooth disk. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the Filling:
- 6 cups fresh, pitted sweet cherries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. orange juice
- 2 tsp. orange zest
- 3 tbsp. Bourbon
- 4 tbsp. corn starch
- 2 tbsp. butter cubed
Preheat oven to 400°
- In a medium bowl mix together all of the filling ingredients, except the butter; set aside. Roll out 1 pie crust disk on a lightly floured surface to a size approximately 12-inches round. Transfer it to 9-inch pie dish.
- Put the cherry filling into the shell, top with the cubed butter and refrigerate while you roll out the top. Roll out the second pastry disk to approximately 12- inch round. Because I didn’t do a picture tutorial for a lattice crust, you will find an excellent tutorial here. The pictures make the process very simple, if this is your first time. Once complete, trim the excess pastry to about 1/2 over hang. Fold the top and bottom crusts together and crimp the edges to seal. Add cutouts to the edges if desired. You can also do a simple pie crust on top by simply rolling out your second disk, to a 12-inch round and placing it on top of the cherry filling. Simply put 4 steam slits, with a sharp knife, about 3/4 of an inch long near the centre of the pie.
- Lightly brush some heavy cream on top of the top crust and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and bake for 35 minutes longer until crust is golden and filling is bubbling. Cool before cutting for best results.
- I often bake my pies in a convection toaster oven. That way I don’t heat up the house in the summer.