Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cherry-Almond Pie

I am obsessed with cherries lately. It happens every year at this time. The markets are just overflowing with fresh cherries, sometimes there are even a few different kinds to choose from. I'm actually kind of surprised that my skin isn't taking on a bit of a scarlet hue with as many cherries as I've eaten in the last month or so. It occurred to me that maybe I should actually make something out of them if I could resist the urge to eat them all.


I've never made a cherry pie before, so I wasn't really sure how this would turn out. I decided almond would be a nice accent flavor to the cherries, and really.... wow. This turned out amazingly. If you're thinking this seems like way too many cherries to pit, don't worry, you can buy a little cherry pitter for just a few dollars. It'll make fast work of it. Just be sure that you wear an apron or a shirt you don't care about because the cherries will splatter a little when you pit them. Better safe than sorry.

Cherry Almond Pie

2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cold, non-hydrogenated shortening (like Earth Balance or Spectrum)
1 Tablespoon soy milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
cold water to make ½ cup liquid

¾ cup sugar
4 Tablespoon cornstarch
¾ cup apple juice (cherry or pomegranate juice would also be good!)
1 Tablespoon non-hydrogenated margarine
½ teaspoon almond extract
3-4 cups cherries, pitted and cut in half if they're large (I bought 2 bags of cherries and that was perfect)

2 Tablespoons soymilk
2 Tablespoons sugar
¼ cup sliced almonds

To make the crust, sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the shortening into smallish pieces and cut into the flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs about the size of peas. Stir together the wet ingredients and add a few tablespoons at a time, mixing with a fork until all of the liquid has been incorporated. Give the dough a quick knead or three, you just want to make sure all the flour has been mixed in, you don't want to actually knead it much.

Divide the dough in half and flatten into discs. Place them in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Once the dough is cold, take one of the discs and roll it out until it's large enough to fit into the bottom of your pie dish. I used a 9" dish, but you can use whatever size you want. Make sure there is a little bit of dough overlapping the edges of the dish so you can make a nice edge after you put the top bits on.

Meanwhile, start making the filling. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a large pot. Whisk in the juice and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. If you don't keep stirring while it's heating, you'll get lumps and you don't want that. Boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and then whisk in the margarine and almond extract. You can also add a little bit of red food coloring if you want to make the pie look a bit more exciting. No one has to know. ;) Now fold in the cherries. Pour the filling into the pie dish.

I made a lattice crust for the top. Don't be intimidated if you've never done that before. It's actually super easy. You can always make a flat top crust, but if you do, it's very, very important that you cut holes for steam to escape or you might get a little bit of a cherry explosion in the oven. And that's not good.


Now for the crust topping. Smash up the slivered almonds a little bit. Either by squeezing the bag they come in with your hand or use the back of a spoon after you've put them into a bowl. Mix the soymilk, sugar and almonds in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for about 2 minutes and then immediately brush it onto the top crust of the pie. If you have one of those silicone brush thingies, this is an excellent use for it. The regular pastry brushes don't work as well since the sugar gets very thick. I just used a spoon to spread it around on mine. Just make sure you work fast because the sugar is going to harden quickly as it cools and then you won't be able to spread it any longer.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let the pie cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!



  1. I also love cherries! I've been known to eat cherry pie filling straight-up if I can't get them fresh. That pie is just amazing!

  2. My gosh, *gasp!* I just realized I NEVER had cherry pie before! Yea, I live in a shell ;0)

    Your cherry pie looks SPECTACULAR not to mention, SCRUMPTIOUS ... So beautiful! I'll feel so guilty slicing into this beauty - too beautiful to eat!

  3. Ooh, that looks downright DELICIOUS!

  4. Oh, my. I don't think I've ever had cherry pie made from real cherries before. By real I mean not from a can :) It looks so good!

  5. woah! amazing pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    with cherry, almond... it looks just so perfect!

  6. Those photos totally made my mouth water! I've never made a cherry pie before, but this is definitely some incentive to try my hand at it. Thanks for the delicious looking recipe!

  7. Hiya,

    That looks seriously good!

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    I really enjoy reading your blog so think this is much deserved.

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  8. Ohhh man, an almond topping...this looks YUMMY!!

    I love cherries, too. I could eat pounds of them in one sitting!

  9. holy awesomeness! i just about drooled all over my shirt when i saw this! i need to get some cherries and make your pie! almonds + cherries = a glorious combination indeed! thanks the the rock'n recipe! :D

  10. Sexy Cake!
    I just awarded you the Brillante Award. The info is on my blog.
    Cheers and happy cake eating.

  11. I'm going to make this as soon as I can get my hands on some fresh cherries (read: as soon as I finish my summer term final and I go to the grocery store again). The only change I'll make is to use ground tapioca instead of corn starch to help "gel" the filling. My mom always makes that substitution and I just love the flavor! Mmm...can't wait to make it!

  12. Mmm... this is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing it! I threw a chopped banana in with the cherries and added the almond extract to the pastry instead. I want more pie!

  13. Thanks for the nice recipe. They looking is beautiful.

  14. this was WONDERFUL. it was my first ever attempt at a pie. thanks so much for sharing this great recipe.

  15. I just awarded you the Brillante Award. The info is on my blog.

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