While cherry season isn’t quite in full swing, that doesn’t stop the National Food Holiday gods from making February 22nd National Cherry Pie Day. Who would say no to a great cherry pie, anyway? 😉 The most common mistake when making cherry pie is using sweet, or bing, cherries, as this can make the resulting pie way too sweet for anyone to eat. (Sure, those cherries are sweet and juicy and delicious, but you’ve got to mash them and add granulated sugar to create a filling for cherry pie, and it all gets cooked down in the baking process.) Instead, most experienced bakers use sour cherries, which don’t taste all that great when you pop them in your mouth, but give just the right amount of tartness to make a cherry pie scrumptious. Most cherry pies are double-crust: they have both a pastry bottom and a top, which can sometimes be made into a pretty lattice-shaped pattern. And who doesn’t love a big scoop of vanilla ice cream with their slice of cherry pie?
Last year I highlighted one of New York City’s best pie makers for their sour cherry pie: Bubby’s Pie Company is still churning out the pies, both sweet and savory, and I’m sure that their sour cherry pie will be in big demand today. Accented with almond and lemon flavors, it’s the perfect blend of sweet and sour that makes a balanced and delicious slice of pie. And now, you can try Bubby’s famous cherry pie right at home! Their 2007 cookbook, Bubby’s Homemade Pies, has the recipe, which is also featured on Food Network’s website. Make this one today to celebrate National Cherry Pie Day!
10 1/3 cups pitted sour cherries
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon tapioca
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 homemade or store-bought rounds of pie dough
In a large bowl, mix together the cherries, sugar, tapioca, butter, lemon juice, almond extract and salt. Transfer 2 rounds of pie dough to 2 (9-inch) pie tins. Divide the cherry mixture between the crusts. Cover the pies with the remaining 2 rounds of dough (in a lattice pattern, if desired). Sprinkle the pie crusts with water, and then the sugar. Chill the pie in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Place the pies on baking sheets and transfer to the oven. Bake about 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking until the filling bubbles and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool the pies on wire rack at least 2 hours before slicing. Store at room temperature up to 2 days.