August 21, 2009 “The best laid schemes of Mice and Men Oft go Awry”
I’ve been planning this entry since the beginning of the summer….the only thing that was different in my plan was that the pie actually made it to its destination . Today, August 21st, is my cousin’s birthday. When I learned that her favorite pie was a sour cherry pie with a lattice crust, I could not wait to make it and send it to her on her birthday. So, yesterday morning I woke up early, went to the store to get the ingredients, and began baking. I tried to make the pie crust, but it wouldn’t stay together (even though I added more water than it called for); it was a crumbly mess. I tried another pie crust, and it still didn’t work. Needless to say, I was ready to throw in the towel. I really hate disappointing people, and it was really important for me to make this pie so I kept baking. The pie crust I used for my strawberry rhubarb pie was delicious, so I used that and hoped it would work. Finally, I had a pie crust. I continued making the pie, and had much success. It looked beautiful and I could not wait to send it out. Today, I woke up early, packed up the pie, and went to the UPS store with my mom. When we arrived, I explained my situation and the man at the counter just looked at me…I knew that this was not a good sign. He explained to me that the UPS workers throw packages into their trucks, often without consideration for the packages’ contents. Basically, he was trying to tell me that I would be paying to have my pie destroyed…and if it even made it to its destination, it would be a gooey mess. I thought his explanation was a little harsh, but I did understand the point he was trying to get across. My mom and I went home, and soon after I got home, a pleasant thought popped into my head: Laura may not be able to try her birthday pie, but I could. I know, I know, it sounds selfish, but I was a little excited (all the while COMPLETELY devastated) that I could try the pie – it was great. Don’t worry, I will be sending Laura something to make up for this disaster.
Sour Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust – Crust from Smitten Kitchen, Filling from Bon Appetit
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons (about) ice water
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole pitted sour cherries or dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (if using sour cherries) or 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if using dark sweet cherries)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon (about) milk
Vanilla ice cream
Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. [Alternately, you can use a pastry cutter to make your dough, as I did.] Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; set aside.
Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips from dough round. Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour longer. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.