Oh, summer. Flip-flops, beaches, popsicles, homemade lemonade and ... delectable, delicious, sweet and tangy cherries. I feel a bit ashamed admitting this, but I'd never had a cherry until May 2008.
From that point on, I developed a veritable obsession with cherries. All my life, I'd been a fruithead, opting for peaches and apples, strawberries and watermelon, grapes and cantaloupe when other kids begged for chocolate and candy. My parents never had to beg me to eat fruit, but for some reason, I got the idea in my head (probably after having an ultra-sweet cocktail cherry) that I hated cherries.
When I bit into my first cherry (it was during my first stint living in England) it was like some terrible tastebud-related wrong had been righted. I couldn't get enough of gnashing through the delicate flesh, flesh whose texture remarkably reminded me of a mandarin orange, with its appley skin, I was hooked. When I returned to North Carolina that summer I picked up a bag of cherries on every trip to the grocery store, fell in love not only with the common bing cherries, but with the regional black cherry.
Now, summer has come to be associated with them and I'm so grateful. As a result of my latent love for them, I've turned them into crumbles, into fruit salads and sauces and now into a cherry pie. But not just any cherry pie, mind, oh no, a double cherry and vanilla pie. That's not necessarily twice the amount of cherries, but two types of cherries. Oh yes, get excited, cherry lovers.
about 4 cups of bing cherries
a can of black cherry pie filling
3/4 cup of sugar
1/8 tsp salf
4 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
lemon juice to taste
a few drops of vanilla extract
vanilla sugar for sprinkling
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
shortcrust pastry (made or store bought)
1 egg, beaten
Now, I'll be honest and go ahead and admit that I bought my pastry. I was way too tired to make a homemade shortcrust pastry, what with the other cooking I was doing this day (roast duck, roast potatoes, carrots, green beans, Yorkshire puddings and gravy). Usually, I'd make my own dough and if I was making my own shortcrust pastry, I would have added some vanilla sugar to carry the taste through.
Anyway, since I didn't have to worry about making dough (and since I bought dough that was already a 13inch circle and didn't need rolling) I just popped the first sheet into the bottom of my pie pan, poked holes in it with a fork and set about prepping my cherries.
The canned cherries were poured into the mixture. Be sure to take care to avoid pouring in too much of the filling from the can as this could make the pie too wet and juicy. Now, you drop the cubed butter over the picture. Next, prepare your top crust: you can make a normal enclosed pie or try a lattice top. As you can see, I attempted my first lattice top! I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and that I was successful. After the pie was closed, I dusted the crust with an egg wash and proceeded to sprinkle the vanilla sugar over top.
That's it! Easy as .... well, pie!
Now, that photo of the roast dinner wasn't watermarked, but it's definitely mine.