Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fresh Sweet Cherry Crumb Pie

Mouth. Watering. 

I'm not going to lie to you. This pie was scrumptious and a pain in the butt to make. But fear not. Cherries are readily available right now, and, although making a Fresh Sweet Cherry Crumb Pie is a labor of love, all the steps are super simple. I've included plenty of photos and you can skip the homemade pie crust and use a store-bought one if you're short on time. A home-made crust though is tender, surprisingly simple with only 4 ingredients, easy and cheap. Ahh, four of my favorite things. Serve this cooled (but still warm) with ice cream*.

*Ice-cream side note: Rich brought home a peanut butter, cookie ice cream to try with this pie. Peanut butter ice cream with cherry pie is surprisingly comforting. Rich swears by mint ice cream with fruit pies too but I just can't go there. Sorry, Hon.

Scent Marketing side note: I walked into the grocery store last night and smelled the distinct scent of cherry pie with almond flavoring. I wouldn't have recognized it if I hadn't just made this pie. But when I walked into the store itself the smell disappeared and there were no cherry pies to be seen. I noticed the scent again just as strongly on my way out of the store. There were no items for sale in the vestibule that would explain the smell. The only explanation I can come up with is that my grocery store is purposefully using scent to subconsciously make me spend more money. Wow, that sounds paranoid, but Scent Marketing is a huge trend in stores. Here's an article of interest on the topic: Scent Marketing: Leading Consumers by the Nose.

Fresh Sweet Cherry Crumb Pie

Single Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening
pinch of salt
4-5 Tbs cold water
Crumb Topping:
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tb cold butter

Cherry Pie Filling:
4 cups pitted sweet cherries
1/4 cup instant tapioca

3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp almond flavoring

Preheat oven to 400'.
1.) Make the crust first. Place flour and shortening in bowl, mixing with the back of a fork, your fingers or a pastry blender. When you have a crumbly mixture, add the cold water 1 Tb at a time. I used all 5 Tb of water but I also have a lot of whole wheat flour in my flour mix (about 50/50).
 Form a ball of the dough and place it in the middle of a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the ball of dough into an even 9" circle, turning the plastic wrap as you work. The dough will be 1/4" thick or so.
 When you have the dough to the right size, pick up the plastic and transfer the crust it to your pie plate. Create a fluted edge to the crust using two fingers to pinch the dough around one knuckle.
 Sorry no photos of the process of fluting. I didn't have a third hand available to snap the photo. :-) But here's the end result. I think it's fairly self-explanatory. Prick the bottom with a fork.
2.) Make the crumb topping in a separate bowl, combining the mix with a fork or your fingers until well blended and crumbly. Set aside.
3.) For the pie filling, pit the cherries using a paper clip, pairing knife, straw or cherry pitter.
 I didn't have a pitter on hand and gave the paper clip a try. It worked pretty good except that the ends of the paper clip dug into my fingers after a while. But a quick, cheap option for pitting cherries. My straws kept bending but might work better on softer cherries.
 So pit all the cherries and tear/cut them in half. Place in a large bowl. Add the other ingredients for the filling and let sit for 5 minutes.
4.) Assemble the pie. Gently pour the cherries into the crust, scraping any sugar/tapioca mix off the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle oat crumble evenly over top covering all the way to the edges.
5.) Bake the pie in the oven at 400' for 45-50 minutes. Now normally when a fruit pie is done the filling starts to bubble, but the tapioca makes for a less juicy filling. The final product is delicious though and not watery at all and way less sweet and sugary than the canned cherry filling. Let cool slightly before slicing.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Thanks for linking up!

    {Sweet Treats Thursday}


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