Thinking of Cherry Almond-Crumble Pie on a Chilly Day in May...

Last weekend, Jamie and I went to my parents' house for a Mother's Day / my Dad's Birthday lunch, and we cooked all kinds of yummy things on the grill--steak and chicken, veggie kabobs, and corn on the cob--I love summer grilling!  I also made Corniest Corn Muffins from my baking cookbook by Dorie Greenspan, a book I just love.  And for dessert, as mentioned in my previous post, I made a Cherry Almond-Crumble Pie.

With the chilly, rainy weather today, I was wishing I had another piece of that pie with my coffee, although also glad that it wasn't here to tempt me.

One of my favorite things about summer is the variety of fruit--cherries, plums, nectarines...  As perfect as fresh cherries are, though, I don't have the patience to pit pounds of them for a pie, so for this recipe I recommend frozen cherries. 
Cherry Almond-Crumble Pie

Filling:
  • 2 prepared pie crusts 
  • 2 pounds frozen black cherries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • zest and juice of 1 small lemon

Crumb Topping:
  • 1/2 stick (4 Tbs) butter, room temperature (not melted) 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, stir constantly, cooking the mixture until thickened, about two minutes.  Stir in the almond extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Set aside to cool, about 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 375F.  Place one pie crust in a deep-dish pie pan.  Sprinkle lightly with flour to prevent a soggy crust.  Pour cherry filling into crust.  Spread 2nd crust over cherries;  dampen the edges with a little water and press together; crimp the edges.  Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.  If you prefer not to use crumb topping, you can do something fancier with the top crust, then brush with egg wash for a shiny, browned finish.

Place pie on a cookie sheet and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  While pie is baking, prepare the crumb topping by mixing all ingredients together with your fingers until you have large crumbles.

After 20 minutes, take the pie out of the oven, and sprinkle the top with the crumb toppings.  Gently wrap the edges of the pie with foil, to prevent over-browning of the edges.  Return pie to the oven, and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  Let cool completely before cutting.  Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

In a cherry orchard-2004

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