One of my favorite fruits, sweet cherries! I've canned them, baked with them and even turned them into BBQ Sauces...one of the more traditional uses is good ole' cherry pie. Here is a cherry pie with a twist - adding in a custard/cream layer. The walnut streusel topping also puts this pie over the top! When eaten warm, its very cobbler-like but, brings out all the flavors. When set in fridge to chill/store - the cold cream cream layer takes away from the full flavors this pie has to offer. I say - serve this slightly warmed for the best taste! ~Enjoy! Diane
Cherry Vanilla Cream Pie
Use any single-crust pie crust recipe sized for a 9-inch pan.
I prefer to make my homemade crust (listed below)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Unbleached All-purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 3/4 cups pitted, halved sweet cherries (about 3/4 pound to start)
*I use one pint of my home canned/preserved sweet cherries in syrup
Walnut Streusel Topping
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
a pinch of salt
Prepare Pie Crust: see below; make and bake unfilled pie crust/shell. Prick crust all over with fork before baking. Bake at 475°F, 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and lower oven to 400.
Filling: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Add the remaining ingredients, except the cherries, and whisk well. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or for the time it takes to pit and slice the cherries. Whisk the filling together once again; this helps the sugar to dissolve.
Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust. Sprinkle the cherries over the top. Some will sink -- don't worry, they're supposed to. Use a pie crust shield or aluminum foil to shield the top edge of the crust. Bake the pie in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. While the pie is baking, make the streusel topping.
Streusel Topping: If you have a food processor, just place all of the topping ingredients into the work bowl and process (pulse) until crumbs form. To prepare the topping by hand, finely chop the almonds (or use almond flour -- the texture will be a bit less "chunky"), then whisk in the sugar, flour and salt. Rub or cut in the butter to form crumbs.
By the time the pie has baked for 20 minutes, it will have just begun to set up around the edges. Carefully sprinkle the streusel over the top, leaving the crust shield in place. Bake the pie for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until it's puffed, the crumbs are very lightly browned at the edges, and/or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads above 160°F.
Remove the pie from the oven, cool for about 2 hours, and sprinkle with confectioners' before serving. Refrigerate any uneaten pie.
Yield: 8 to 12 servings.
Pie Recipe Adapted from: The Baking Sheet Newsletter for King Arthur Flour
Homemade Pie Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold butter
1 egg yolk
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Combine flour and salt in bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg yolk and enough water with fork just until flour is moistened.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into ball. Flatten slightly and wrap one half of dough in plastic food wrap, you will only need one half to make this pie, save other half for a future use in refrigerator.
For this one crust pie, roll out one half of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into 9-inch pie pan sprayed with non-stick spray; unfold dough, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan. Crimp or flute edge. Bake according to pie recipe directions. For the Cherry Vanilla Cream Pie - you will pre-bake the crust;
Pre-Bake - Prick crust all over with fork before baking. Bake at 475°F, 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Pie Crust Recipe & Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home