Summer is here. The advent of farmers markets, balmy weather, sunshine and poolside lounging has got me looking forward to the next three months with great relish. And, of course, it is the time of year for my favorite dessert: pie! It's almost pride weekend here in DC and I wanted to kick it off Spice & Hutch style by baking a scrumptious pie that pays homage to DC's iconic cherry blossoms.
The pie dough recipe in this post belonged to my great grandmother Thor. It's been passed down through generations; it's the recipe I grew up with; and I love it so much that I wanted to share it with the world! Note that the pie dough may be a tad stickier and harder to manage than other pie doughs you have made. But this recipe produces the richest and flakiest pie crust I've ever had. I think you'll enjoy it, too :)
for the pie crust:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cup chilled vegetable shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 5 tbsp ice cold water
for the pie filling:
- 5 cups sweet cherries, washed and pitted
- 3 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 to 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
- Cut in the vegetable shortening and continue mixing until the dough forms pea-sized clumps.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then add the ice water and vinegar. Mix to combine. Add to the dry ingredients.
- Mix the dough lightly with a fork to combine the dry and wet ingredients.
- Turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead the dough a couple of times. Divide into two equal parts.
- Smush down each portion into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up the butter. You can refrigerate the dough for up to two days. Proceed with step 7 when ready to make the pie.
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- To make the pie filling, mix together the tapioca and sugar and blend until smooth. Using your hands, gently toss and coat the cherries with the tapioca mixture. Allow the cherries to sit for 15 minutes.
- Roll out one disk of pie dough into a circle about 1 1/2 inches larger than the diameter of the pie tin. Drape the dough over the pie tin, pushing the dough against the sides and bottom of the tin.
- Pour in the cherry mixture. Dot with the butter.
- Roll out the second disk and drape it over the pie. Remove the excess dough. Use a fork or your fingers to create a decorative trim. Use a knife to carve a decorative pattern or shape on top of the pie.
- Bake the pie in a 450° oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top has achieved a golden brown and the cherry mixture is bubbling gently.
If you make this recipe, hashtag a pic to #spiceandhutch and post to Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter. I'd love to see your culinary creations!