Does anyone out there really NOT love pie? Assholes who are too chicken-shit to indulge a little, I guess. Agent Dale Cooper loves pie, and he’s the dreamiest. We also share his love of coffee. But on this particular evening, we paired our pie with a lamb roast and fresh ravioli, among other snacks. Hello! Now, we’re big fans of “alternative” ingredients and the like, but with things like cherry pie, good old white flour really does the trick.
|The Cherry Chomper|
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter (that’s 1 1/2 sticks), at room temp
a pinch or two of salt, if your butter wasn’t salted
about 5 cups Bing cherries (2-2 1/2 lbs), pitted and halved
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
juice and zest from 1 lemon
|the elusive Mike B, chomping cherries|
Preheat your oven to 400.
Mix all the filling junk together in a bowl and combine thoroughly. Set aside. If you’d like to substitute tart cherries, increase the sugar by another 1/2 cup. Normally I turn to flour for thickening things, mainly because it’s less processed and I like that idea, but Mike B insisted on cornstarch. What a bossy little bitch.
Next, the crust. It seems that I’m a renegade when it comes to pie crust. I don’t use cold butter, I don’t measure the water I throw in, and I don’t let it rest and chill before rolling. This way it’s quick and easy, even more so than I was in the summer of 2004. But that’s a different blog post altogether. But I swear it’s flaky and tender EVERY TIME!!! “Flaky” and “tender” are what everyone wants in a pie crust, no?
Dump the flour into a medium bowl, and the salt if your butter is unsalted. Dice up your butter and throw it in there, too. Now wash those paws of yours and crumble the butter into the flour with said paws. Do not use a pastry blender, do not use a food processor. Not if you want to be a renegade. Squish and crumble until you have a generally mealy texture with a good helping of pea or bean-sized chunks as well. These little butter wads equal flaky crust once baked.
Now get some cold water in a cup. Start out by dumping about 1/3 cup into your butter/flour mix. Squish it around a little, and add more as necessary, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough just holds together. Make sure to do this step quickly, within a minute or so, with as little mixing as possible. Wet dough doesn’t like to be fussed with too much.
Cut your dough ball in half, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger half on a floured surface and lay it gently in a 9-inch pie plate. No need to grease it. Remember all that butter in the dough? Yeah.
Plop the filling in there. Roll out the other half of your dough. If you want to make a solid top crust, remember to poke some vent holes in it with a tiny knife or something, maybe in a fancy pattern or a picture of something you like. This time, we chose to go with a lattice top. Seems complicated. It’s not. Figure it out, dummy.
Seal your top and bottom crusts with a fork or your fingers.
Bake at 400 on a middle rack for 10-15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes, rotating 1/4 turn every once in a while. You may want to put a sheet pan under it to catch the escaping cherry goo before it burns to the bottom of your oven FOREVER. You’re looking for a nice deep golden crust and bubbling goop from inside trying to crawl out of the pan.
Let it cool at room temp for at least 1-2 hours, if not more. Hot pie is delicious, I know, but it’s also runny. If your fat face can manage to hold off for a bit, it’ll be pleasantly rewarded with heavenly sweet-tart fruit snot enveloped by that “tender, flaky crust”. Agent Cooper would be more than happy to bury his face in your pie. Yes, please!
|TEAM VELMA LOVES PIE.|