I made a pie!! And a very All-American pie too!
And oh my gosh, it is packed to the brim with CHERRIES. As of this moment, I am declaring cherries my new favorite fruit of summer. Growing up I was all about watermelon, nectarines and berries, but I had never had cherries. Or at least I do not remember having them around. My dad says we did, but I really only remember tons of watermelon.
I am guessing we ate a lot of watermelon because with a big family it served a crowd…and hello it’s cheap. Big families with too many little kids means you are looking for the cheap fruits. I have to say though, looking back my parents did a pretty good job of keeping fresh fruit around. We always had drawers full of nectarines (or peaches, it was always whatever looked better) and tons of strawberries, blackberries or whatever berry was on sale that week. So I guess it wasn’t really just watermelon, but I honestly don’t ever remember having cherries.
Cherry tomatoes? Yup! I remember having so many of those, but that’s another memory for another day.
Today is all about the cherries and blueberries, and maybe a little bourbon, with a big old side of flakey crust. And a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream too, because that is how I am doing it today.
Which just so you know, it the right way.
Because today is kind of like a Friday since tomorrow is the Fourth. For most of us, this means a three-day weekend and that means… we need pie…with a little bourbon, which incredibly somehow makes the cherries even better. I did not even know that was possible. But apparently it is.
So even though I may be having some bad days in the kitchen this week, and my photos the last two days have stunk – so bad that I deleted them right off my computer the second I looked at them, I can at the very least, try and beg you to make this pie. And also tell you that if I made a pie, YOU CAN MAKE A PIE.
Ok, ok, ok. First let me tell you that I only ever had my first cherry at about this time last year and honestly, at first I was all like “yeah, I don’t know, these are okay”. But then for some reason I kept going back for more. I think I was hungry before dinner and snacking while writing a post or something, but the point is that within a day of trying them, and saying they were just ok, I was taking back my words and singing a whole different tune.
Granted I had some really awesome fresh Oregon cherries that had probably been picked the day before, but still, I have been waiting for cherries to return ever since. And now I am fully addicted and dreading the day they disappear again.
I wasn’t really thinking I would ever bake with cherries since I am not a huge fan of any baked fruits, but for some reason a couple of weeks ago I got it in my head that I really wanted to make a cherry pie. This was a little before I went to Florida and I was hoping to get it made before I left, but it didn’t happen. So the second I got home a week ago, I made this and was filled with excitement over it the very second I pulled it out of the oven.
I mean, for one it was a pie and I have not had too much success with pies. I have made pies that tasted awesome, but looked horrific, but never one that both tasted good and looked good. So yeah, it is safe to say, I was jumping for joy over this pie.
And you know what? It wasn’t even that hard. And the crust? Holy moly, the crust is amazing. I used Bon Appetit’s recipe which calls for almond meal and I swear it makes all the different. It’s super soft and tender, but also nice and toasted on the top. I am telling you, it is crust perfection.
Next comes the filling. I added the blueberries to try and get a little red, white and blue action. Unfortunately, that did not really work out so well. BUT I am still so happy I added them because they add a nice texture and help to balance the cherry flavor.
So just in time for the long Fourth of July weekend, thankfully, this pie turned out great. There is nothing difficult about it, if I can do it, you can too. Snap some pictures of yours and make me jealous. Happy 4th!
Vanilla Bourbon Cherry-Blueberry Pie.
*Pie can be made one day in advance. Just be sure to cover tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
*Crust and baking method for the pie adapted from Bon Appetit June 2014 Issue.
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted
- 1 pound fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed from the pod
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 egg, beaten
- demerara sugar or granulated sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Pulse the almond flour, granulated sugar, salt, and all-purpose flour in a large food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Whisk egg yolks with 1/4 cup ice water in a small bowl and then add the eggs to the flour mixture. Pulse, drizzling in more ice water as needed (no more than 1 tablespoon at a time), until dough just comes together (a few dry spots are ok).
Gently knead dough on a lightly floured surface until no dry spots remain, about 1 minute. Divide dough in half. Shape each piece into a circle disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter 5 minutes to soften. Meanwhile grease a 9-inch pie plate and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round. Carefully transfer the crust into the prepared pie plate. Lift up the edges and allow the dough to sink down into the dish. Trim edges to even out crust if needed, then prick the bottom of the dough with a fork a few times.
Now grab the remaining dough disk and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round.
Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a small star cookie cutter, a 3/4 inch diameter pastry tip or cookie cutter, punch out holes, leaving a half inch border free of holes along the outside edges. Place the dough in the fridge.
In a large bowl toss together the cherries. blueberries, coconut sugar, cornstarch, bourbon, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds and zest of 1 lemon. Toss well to coat making sure everything is well mixed. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie plate. Make sure to scrape in all the good juices left in the bowl!
Grab the pie dough in the fridge and carefully lift the parchment paper and place it right over top of the pie. Push the edges of the top crust into the pie plate and then crimp the edges of the bottom crust together with the top crust. You can crimp fancy or crimp simple...I went with simple.
Brush the top crust with egg and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Chill pie until crust is firm, about 30 minutes.
Place pie on a baking sheet and bake until crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown, about 50–60 minutes longer. If the crust is getting too brown, tent with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before slicing.
Don’t forget the scoop of vanilla ice cream. SO Dreamy.
*SO SORRY ABOUT ALL THE PHOTOS, I JUST COULDN’T GET RID OF ANY!