Sour Cherry Pie FillingJuly 23, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Posted in pies & tarts, sweet things | 22 Comments
My freezer becomes a bit neglected in the summer. Actually, I cram a whole lot of stuff into it, but apart from ice cream, not a whole lot of stuff manages to find its way back out…intentionally, that is. The other day, after a couple of quarts of frozen chicken stock decided to fling themselves from the freezer when I opened the door (ouch–my foot!), I decided to do a little root-around in there, and I came across my neglected pie dough “collection.” I am often making mini pies and tarts, and stashing what remains from a whole batch of dough in the icebox. If you’re reading this blog, why do I bet that you do, too?!?
I thought that a smart way to use up some of these frozen bits and pieces would be to combine them with something fresh and in season. Sour cherry time is here, although it’ll be over before I can blink, so I knew I had to get myself to the Greenmarket ASAP. I broke out my cherry pitter, and made up a recipe of Nick Malgieri’s “Once-A-Year Cherry Pie” filling. Rather than using his crust, I eeny, meeny, miny, moe’d my dough collection and used some hazelnut linzer scraps that I brought home from work ages ago. You could use a regular sweet dough or a flaky one…heck, probably even a chocolate dough, if you like that combo. Go see what you have hiding in the freezer!
Sour Cherry Pie Filling - makes enough for a 9-inch pie
from a recipe by Nick Malgieri
3 pints fresh sour cherries, stemmed, rinsed and picked over
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
-To make the filling, pit the cherries over a bowl. Use a cherry pitter, or slash the side of each one with a stainless steel paring knife and squeeze gently to extract the pits. Put the cherries in a bowl as they are pitted.
-When all the cherries have been pitted drain the juices from the bowl into a non-reactive saucepan and add 1 cup of the cherries and the sugar. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is very liquid–about 5 minutes.
-Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk the cherry and sugar mixture into it. Return to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat, until it comes to a boil thickens and becomes clear. If it does not become clear, continue to cook over low heat an additional few minutes until it does.
-Pour into a large bowl and stir in the remaining filling ingredients, except the cherries then add the remaining cherries.
-Now you are ready to use it as a filling for your favorite pie dough! Bake until the filling bubbles and the dough is golden, at whatever temperature you normally use for your particular dough.