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Leena Bakes: her first post-baby project- homemade cherry pie

By on Jul 5, 2011 in Leena Bakes, Pie, Recipes | 9 comments

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Leena Bakes: her first post baby project  homemade cherry pie
My first ever cherry pie for Pie Party!
Hey there folks—it’s Leena, and I’m back from baby land, knee-deep in dirty diapers and enjoying a life without time for personal hygeine thanks to my new bundle of joy, Ella. My recovery has been a bit slower because I had to deliver Ella via c-section, and the last time I can actually remember cooking or baking was months ago.
So guess what I did as soon as the grandparents came over to play with Ella? A shower? Nope, but that would have probably been a good idea. I decided to bake a pie. A from-scratch cherry pie from Ad Hoc, a cookbook by Thomas Keller, a chef known for loving complicated recipes. Ain’t no Betty Crocker recipe here, folks.
And perfect timing too, because there is a pie party today! The Gluten-free Girl is hosting a day of pie posts of any shape, size or flavor (read about it here). A current favorite blogger of mine, Nomnivorous, posted a kick-ass looking chocolate strawberry pie for #pieparty that is already on my summer to-do list. But first? On to the cherry pie…before the baby wakes up and ruins it all.
Leena Bakes: her first post baby project  homemade cherry pie
I started with cherries bought from farm side fruit stand in Novato, California, pited and halved. Be sure to have a wooden spoon handy to ward off any hungry family members–or extra cherries, if you don’t dig violence.

 

Leena Bakes: her first post baby project  homemade cherry pie
The reduced thickened cherry juice. This took the longest to make in the recipe, but was worth it. I added cinnamon to my pie filling, my only deviation on Keller’s recipe.

 

Leena Bakes: her first post baby project  homemade cherry pie
This is what them fancy food folks call a double crust pie.
Leena Bakes: her first post baby project  homemade cherry pie
The finished cherry pie! I was BEYOND stoked that I didn’t eff up the crust and have it shrink on me.
Leena Bakes: her first post baby project  homemade cherry pie
A slice of my first post-baby baking project: cherry pie with a hint of cinnamon, served with vanilla ice cream. Beyond good. Like showering every day sort of good.
Leena Bakes: her first post baby project  homemade cherry pie
This is what happens when you rush Thomas Keller and ignore his recipe…I only let the pie rest for 1 1/2 hours, not 3, and all the juices ran out! Should have let it cooled more…

 

Recipe: Cherry Pie from Ad Hoc cookbook

Summary: Another great Thomas Keller recipe, altered slighly by me.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 7 cups of sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cup granated sugar
  • 1 tablspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 basic pie crust (recipe below)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl unti corstarch dissolves to make a slurry, which thickens liquids.
  2. Puree two cups of cherries in a blender (doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth), taste for sweetness.
  3. Put the puree, cinnamon, and  sugar in a medium saucepan (add up to 1/4 cup more sugar if puree is tart on its own) on medium heat, simmering for 30 minutes until mix reduces to 1 1/4 cup. Stir often to prevent burning. Lower the heat to medium low and add the cornstarch slurry, stirring the entire time. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring and cook until it turns translucent, which will signal that the cornstarch has dissolved. To test this, remove puree from heat, spoon some onto a plate and allow to cool for 30 seconds before rubbing a bit between your fingers to check for any grains of cornstarch. Puree can be cooked longer to further dissolve any cornstarch.
  4. Place filling in a bowl, stir in the vanilla extract and allow to cool completely.
  5. Roll out pie dough into one 13-inch circle and one 12 -inch circle, both 1/8 inch thick. Place the larger one in the pie pan and the other on a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan, and place both in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow butter in dough to harden.
  6. Remove doughs from fridge, and preheat oven to 400 F with one rack on bottom and on in the center.
  7. Mix the puree with the whole cherries and pour into the pie dough base. Brush the rim of the pie with a little egg, and cover the filling with the rolled out crust and press to seal the edges, then pinch the top and bottom crust together, create a raised edge, and trim off the excess. Shape the edges however you like (I like to make the crust raised and scored with a fork on the edges).
  8. Brush the top crust of the pie with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Use a paring knife to cut a few vents in the top of the pie. Bake for 20 minutes on the bottom rack, then lower heat to 375F, move pie to center rack and bake for 20-30 minutes until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
  9. Let pie cool on a baking rack. Serve it 2-3 hours after you bake it, so the filling has time to cool and thicken.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

Recipe: Pie Crust from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc cookbook

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, in 1/2 inch cubes, cold
  • 5 tablespoons ice water

Instructions

  1. Place flour and salt in a large bowl.Add butter and using your hands, mix with flour. Start to slowly work the butter in with the flour until the butter is in pea-sized chunks.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of water to the flour mixture and stir together with a fork until the dough just holds together. If dough is really dry, add the other tablespoon of water. Knead dough until butter is mixed through out.
  3. Divide dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Shape into a 1 inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge at least an hour.

Microformatting by hRecipe.

~LTG!
Leena Bakes: her first post baby project  homemade cherry pie

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for mentioning me, but your pie so kicks my pie’s ass.

    Well, ok, actually, I love strawberries and cherries equally, so I’ll just say they’re equally awesome. Your pie makes me drool. Majorly!

    • Leena

      6 Jul ’11

      Thanks, Emily! I got the inspiration to do the pie party from you, so that makes you tops in my book:)

    • Leena

      6 Jul ’11

      Thanks, Lora!

  2. Jennifer Wallace

    6 Jul ’11

    Post a Reply

    I want your pie! I’m not sure there’s anything better than a shower every day kind of pie Leena. Maybe if you’d have let it sit the three hours it would have been daily bath and massage good? Who knows? I’m an impatient eater and you’re an impatient cook. Whataya gonna do.

    You must be very happy to be in your kitchen again. Congrats!

    • Leena

      6 Jul ’11

      Jen, my pie wants you to want it. I’d say it would be worth a daily foot rub by a hot guy with a six pack WHILE you eat a tube of cookie dough. I’m happy in my kitchen, but it’d be even better if I got to cook with you again!

  3. CJ

    27 Jul ’11

    Post a Reply

    Thomas Keller makes the best recipes ever! I used his pie crust recipe and made blueberry pie today! Excellent!

  4. Christine

    14 Aug ’11

    Post a Reply

    Just found your blog….you make me laugh which is a very good thing…. can you come over to my house and help me with my 100 lbs of pickling cucumbers…..

    • Leena

      15 Aug ’11

      Thanks! I’ll help you can if you want to swap me some free babysitting–that’s what I really need now!

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