Fresh Cherry Pie

If I am lucky each spring I come across fresh sour pie cherries and make a pie.  This year Joe Engelbrecht has them at his Fourth Generation Family Orchard in Elberfeld, In. and I got some!  Our family will be delighted this evening when we cut into it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to adorn it!

Pastry for a large double crust pie:

3 C. all purpose flour ( I use King Arthur Organic)
1 1/2 sticks ice cold butter cut into dice
3/4 C. shortening (I use Crisco butter flavor)
1 t. kosher salt
1 lg. egg
1 T. vinegar
5 T. ice water

Scoop the flour into a bowl and add the salt.  Add the shortening and butter and combine using a pastry cutter until it looks like peas.  Combine the water, egg, and vinegar and beat together with a fork.  Add to the flour mixture and quickly stir together forming a dough.  Knead a couple of times to form a rough ball and divide it into two equal pieces.  Pat into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before rolling.  This will keep longer, a few days or can be frozen until needed, 

Make the fresh cherry filling as follows:

5 C. pitted sour cherries
5 T. tapioca (instant)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 t. almond extract
2 T. soft butter
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 T. sugar to sprinkle optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.   Stir everything except the butter together and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.  Roll out the lower crust and line a large deep pie pan.  (I used a 9" Emile Henry.)  Rpll the top crust and cut into strips for lattice or leave as a round top but cut a decorative design in it to let the steam escape.  I also use a pie bird for a lot of the full crust fruit pies and they do cut way down on the overflow of the juices,

Pour the filling into the shell and dot with butter.  Place the top crust over the filling and flute the edges,  I like to sprinkle the top crust with a bit of sugar too.  Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes until brown and bubbling.  Cool and serve at room temperature.  Yield 6-8 servings.

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