We had a food day at work this past Friday. Why did we have a food day? Seriously, does there need to be a reason? Half the time we sit around and think of reasons why we should have a food day. This time we actually had a semi-good reason though; it was our deputy administrator's birthday. His favorite kind of pie is cherry, so I volunteered to make one. It had been a while since I had made pie and I have never made a cherry pie, so this was a definite experiementation.
I googled some cherry pie recipes to see what I could find and the filling in cherry pies is actually quite simple. Just some cherries, sugar and cornstarch. There are other ingredients you can add to "jazz it up," but these are the premises. So, I packed up my purse and headed to the grocery store to buy my ingredients.
Ummmm...have you ever tried to buy fresh or frozen sour/tart cherries in mid-March? Yea...I was not so productive. I suppose I could have gone the easy route and bought some canned cherry pie filling and followed the directions on the back of the can. That would have been boring though. So, instead I was rummaging through the frozen fruit section and found packages for dark sweet cherries. Hmmm...this might work.
Once I got home I began searching, yet again, for cherry pie recipes. Only this time for dark sweet cherry pie recipes. Success! The below recipe is one I modified from an All Recipes listing as it called for canned cherries. Plus, I made some more modifications to the other ingredients and bake time since my crust did not follow their same recipe.
Crystal's Sweet Dark Cherry Pie
2 freshly-prepared (unbaked) pie crusts (one for base and one for top)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 12oz. bags of frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
juice from half of one lemon
dash of almond extract
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in cherries, lemon juice and almond extract. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir and microwave an additional minute or two until mixture comes to a boil and is thickening. Pour into crust.
Roll out remaining pastry crust to fit top of pie. Place over filling. Flute edges. Cut slits in pastry. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degress and bake an additional 45 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Here's what my pie looked like going into the oven...
And here's what it looked like once it was done...yum!
This was very, very, very good! Even some non-cherry pie lovers liked this pie. Oh yea, and my deputy administrator loved it! Try this today if you're looking for a sweet, fruity pie!