May I gently remind you about the TryptoFun on Saturday morning? It’s at 9:00 am. Meet at the A/C (High Street) train station in Cadman Plaza. You can pick your
poison punishment privilege and do either the 4-mile Manhattan Bridge-Chinatown-Brooklyn Bridge route, or the 2-mile Brooklyn Bridge only route. There will be good company and good treats afterward. Sign up here now. And then go back to your Thanksgiving Day planning.
This Thanksgiving is somewhat of a big deal for me and Micah. It is the first time in our married life that we are not taking charge of an entire Thanksgiving feast for our little family and whomever else we can scrounge up from the streets of Hawaii or Brooklyn. You see, the first year we were married, we went to a Thanksgiving dinner for students at the university we lived near. We were hoping for a somewhat homey experience with a big group, but instead were confronted with Thanksgiving cafeteria-style. We left feeling homesick and vowed to take charge of our Thanksgivings and save whomever we could from the same lonely fate.
Some years this has meant a cozy little group, other times we’ve crammed more than a dozen people into our tiny apartment for a full-on, sit-down-and-stuff-yourself Thanksgiving dinner. And one time we roasted our turkey at home, then transported it to our church where we shared the bounty with other members of our congregation. It is always a lot of work, but it has been worth it to provide a homey place for people to celebrate when they couldn’t actually be home.
But not this year. This year we are going away. We’re hanging out with family. There will be lots of cousins for the boys to play with, and more space to run around in than if we were staying here. And we’re splitting the food prep responsibilities. This means that I had to decide which of the dishes from the past six years were my favorite and that I wanted to share. Cherry pie was at the top of the list.
And, because I like you people, I’m sharing the recipe here today.
Lattice-top Cherry Pie from The New Best Recipe
For the dough:*
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons shortening, chilled
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch chunks
10 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1-1 1/4 cup sugar (depending on how tart your cherries are) plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 24-ounce jars of Morello cherries, drained, or about 6 cups fresh or canned sour cherries, pitted or drained
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
First, make the dough:
Process the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add the shortening and process until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add the butter and pulse for about 10 1-second pulses. (The mixture should be pale yellow and the butter bits should be no larger than small peas.) Turn the mixture out into a medium bowl.
Sprinkle the water over the mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the water into the mixture. Press down on the dough with the spatula until the dough sticks together. Divide the dough into 2 balls (one slightly larger than the other) and flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and as long as 2 days.
When you’re ready to roll out the pie dough, take it out of the fridge and let is stand until it is just malleable. On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger piece into a 15×11 inch rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and then, using a pizza wheel, fluted pastry wheel, or a paring knife, trim the edges to make them straight. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into 8 strips, 15 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide. Freeze the strips on the baking sheet until firm, about 30 minutes.
Roll the larger piece of dough on a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and ease it into the bottom of the pan. Leave any overhanging dough and put the dough-lined pie plate in the refrigerator.
Take the dough strips out of the freezer. Let stand at room temperature until malleable, but still very cold. Create the lattice by weaving the dough strips together, then put the lattice top back in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Move the oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on it, and preheat to 500 degrees.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
Mix cornstarch, 1-1 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the cherries and almond extract.
Turn the cherry mixture into the dough lined pie plate. Take the lattice top from the freezer and place on top of the filled pie. Trim the lattice strips and crimp the pie edges. Lightly brush the lattice top with water and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar
Lower the oven temperature to 425. Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake until crust begins to brown, 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pie in the oven and reduce the temperature to 375. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble, 25-30 minutes more. Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving. It is delicious with whipped cream or ice cream. Or both.
*I’m doing an all-butter crust this year, but as I haven’t tried it with the cherry pie yet, I decided to share the one I’ve used the past couple of years. I’ll let you know how the butter crust goes.