The farmer’s market in my neighborhood has had many organic goodies this summer.
One of my favorite sellers always lines their produce tables with toile fabric!
It really makes the produce stand-out...and you know Mr. Peacock loves toile!
I usually buy too much stuff—it's difficult to just buy the essentials. The stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines, pluots, and cherries) have been especially juicy and flavorful this year.
I recently bought a large amount of Bing cherries with the intent of making a pie.
I like fruit pies, but I don’t like them too sweet or gummy—especially cherry pie. I’ve been on a quest to find the “perfect” homemade cherry pie recipe for the last few years. Canned cherry pie filling is so disappointing—overly sweet, gummy, starchy, fake red coloring, and very few cherries.
Here’s Mr. Peacock’s version of a summer cherry pie using fresh Bing cherries—with no red food coloring. I like using a 9” spring form pan, instead of a pie plate. I like the pie to look a bit rustic.
Mr. Peacock’s Cherry Pie
Makes 6 servings
Preheat oven 375 degrees
2 lbs pitted ripe Bing cherries
juice of 1 lime
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon almond extract (just a little enhances the cherry flavor)
pinch of salt
1 ½ tablespoon of minute tapioca
1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
Pastry for a double-crust pie (your favorite recipe or see below)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1) Carefully pit the cherries. I used a deep mixing bowl and simply squished the pit out of each cherry. It is a bit labor intensive, but the process goes fairly quickly. Wear latex gloves if you don’t want your hands to get stained with cherry juice. I washed my hands immediately, but my cuticles were stained a bit. I also suggest laying newspapers on your floor and having paper towels and some sort of spray cleaner nearby—because your work area will get splattered with cherry juice.
2) After you pit all of the cherries, I slightly mashed them a bit with the back of a large spoon to get some extra juice.
3) Pour the sugar, almond extract, pinch of salt, and tapioca over the cherries and gently toss together with a spoon. Let this mixture rest 10-15 minutes.
4) Pour the filling into the prepared piecrust. Sprinkle the surface with the cornstarch and sugar mixture. Sprinkle the cold butter over the top. Push the extended edges of the piecrust over the topping.
5) Arrange the cookie cutter pieces of dough over the top of the mixture and pie crust edges. I slightly overlapped the pieces going in circles from the middle to the outer edges. Sprinkle the top with the turbinado sugar.
6) Place the spring pan on top of a cookie sheet and place in the preheated 375-degree oven.
7) Bake the pie for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. The filling will still appear runny when you first remove it from the oven. Let the pie cool at least 1 hour and the filling will set. Enjoy!
Pastry for a double-crust pie
(adapted from Gourmet magazine)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
1 tablespoon of sugar
¾ tsp salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into a dice
4 tablespoons of frozen solid vegetable shortening (you can get non-hydrogenated at Whole Foods), cut into a dice
1/3 cup ice water (plus 1-4 extra tablespoons)
1) Dice the cold butter and frozen shortening. Place in the freezer.
2) Pour the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor with your regular blade and pulse until blended.
3) Spread the frozen butter and shortening over the flour mixture.
4) Get your ice water handy and pulse the flour and butter, alternately adding a bit of cold water. Continue pulsing and adding water until the dough forms a ball. Once the dough comes together—do not over process.
5) Dump the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and pat out into a round disc—about 1 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
6) Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment paper until about 3/16 of inch thick. Drape dough over the spring form pan and gently press into the pan. Cut away excess dough.
7) Roll the excess dough between the parchment papers. Use a cookie cutter to cut as many shapes out of this extra dough. I used a 2” round scalloped cookie cutter.
If you’re not into making your pie (and live in the San Francisco), you can order and purchase a fresh pie from the Pie Truck (thanks Sara). The pie truck is a one-man operation. The pie man, a former architect, bakes and delivers these delicious sweet and savory pies—even on Saturday. Click here for more information about the Pie Truck.
Have a great weekend...and hopefully some pie!