We decided to go cherry picking on July 4, and of course, it turned out to be the hottest day ever. My daughter could barely handle the heat, and sat in the shady seating area much of the time while my husband kept her company. Meanwhile, my son and I braved the heat and I'm glad we did. We picked out some amazing tart cherries. They were so beautifully deep red and juicy and oh so tart!! The farm also had blueberries, so I got a bunch because, hello....Blueberry is blue and Cherry is red, which also happen to be July 4 colors. Couldn't have been more perfect.
We got home around 3 in the afternoon and the kids and husband crashed. I of course had been busy on the drive back trying to come up with neat recipes for the cherries and blueberry. After a family vote, we decided on a pie.
I'm not the first one who has used this combination of fruit, and I can see why. This pie was so delicious with a mix of tart and sweet. It lasted 24 hours. The four of us cleaned the entire plate by the next day, that's how good it was.
I got much of this recipe from "The Best Cherry Pie Recipe Ever" by Jean Van't Hul (www.artfulparent.com) but made some minor changes. Jean does a great job explaining many of the steps, so feel free to refer to the original recipe.
I made the crust from scratch. I would recommend making your own crust, because it honestly doesn't take that much more time, and it is so worth it. I don't use any shortening in my crust, just butter....yes, a lot of butter. :-) But once you make it you will see why. Or if you would prefer, simply use a pre-made crust.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) chilled butter (do not soften)
8 tablespoons cold water
- Add the flour, sugar and salt to to a food processor or blender and mix.
- Cut the butter into little pieces and add to the flour mixture.
- Pulse the mixture for a few times until the butter is very tiny (like little pea sized pebbles)
- Transfer the dough to a bowl or using the food processor bowl, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and gently press the dough. Repeat the process until all the flour comes together and a nice dough is formed.
- At this point, you can divide the dough into two and wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer or use it right away.
THE CHERRY/BLUEBERRY PIE
2 cups tart cherries, pitted and halved
2 cups blueberries
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 to 1 1/4 cups sugar (taste and adjust based on preference)
1/4 tsp salt
- Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl add the cherries, blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and salt and mix until the fruit is well covered. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. At this point the cherries will have released quite a bit of liquid.
- Transfer the fruit (and liquid) to a large pan and simmer over medium/low heat for about 10 minutes until the liquid is bubbling and thick. Set aside to cool. (Note: I like to cook the fruit before baking it to limit and avoid the liquid leaking in the oven. You can avoid the cooking process and put in the oven as is. Just make sure to place the pie dish on a parchment lined baking sheet to catch any spills).
- Meanwhile, bring out one of the chilled dough balls. Roll out the dough to about 12 inches diameter on a lightly floured surface, and then set it on the base of the pie pan making sure the sides and edges are covered by the dough.
- Pour in the cherry/blueberry mix into the dough lined pie
- Take out the second ball of dough and using a knife or pastry cutter, cut in strips and arrange into a lattice on top of the pie. Or use a cookie cutter to cut out cool shapes. Pinch the edges of the top and bottom dough crusts together and the crimp the edge using your fingers or a fork.
- Brush the crust with some cream or egg white and then sprinkle a little granulated sugar.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. Then cover the pie with a sheet of foil with a hole in the center and continue baking at 375 degrees F for another 30 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden brown.