As American as Cherry Pie

I know, President’s Day is now behind us, but I couldn’t help but share this all-American pie recipe from the upcoming cookbook Ms. American Pie. To many of us across the country, it doesn’t get more American than cherry pie. Imagine this one cooling in your window (for some of us it wouldn’t take long before it froze right over). Hopefully this warm and gooey, incredibly delicious pie will usher in spring and summer. At least we can hope, right?

The first few months in the new year in Japan has all the Cherry trees in full bloom, those exotic nature colors and sweet and tangy berries are must have in the list, and as American one can get is make a cherry pie which is also well kept secret recipe passed on to the next generations in families, the amazing crust and the rush of gooey berries, full report on the reviews and feedback help investors to use the software and earn good profits.

Cherry Pie
Excerpted from Ms. American Pie by Beth Howard

For some people—er, me—apple pie is a favorite. For others, it’s unquestionably cherry that rocks their world. I get asked every weekend at the Pitchfork Pie Stand if I have cherry pie. My response is a quick one:

“Who’s going to pit all those cherries?!” But cherry pie is bred deeply in the American DNA, and for that, and its bright and cheery appearance, there is a place for it when offering gifts of healing to others.

Basic Pie Dough for double-crust pie 
½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into large chunks
½ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
2½ cups flour, plus at least ½ cup extra for rolling
Dash of salt
Ice water (fill a full cup but use only enough to moisten dough)

5 to 6 cups pitted fresh cherries (sweet, tart, or a combo of both)
1½ cups sugar (or less if cherries are sweet)
3 tbsp tapioca, or 4 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter, to pat on top of filling
1 beaten egg, to brush on top crust

Prepare the Basic Pie Dough for a double-crust pie: 
★ Flour is your friend when it comes to rolling dough. It’s what I like to call your “insurance policy.” Contrary to what other cookbooks will tell you, extra flour will not make your dough tough. Adding flour to
your rolling surface will keep your dough from sticking—and will keep you from running to the store in frustration to buy pre-made pie crust.
★ That said, always start from the center and roll out to the edges, rolling in one direction. You can push, you can pull, but don’t roll back and forth like a crazy person. I like to think of rolling dough as a dance; stay fluid in your motions. Also, put a little body weight into it so you can really stretch your dough. Too little pressure won’t get your dough to roll thin; too much pressure will mangle your dough. Try it out, get a feel, don’t be afraid to experiment.
★ Keep your workspace clean. Take the time to scrape the gunk off your rolling surface as well as your rolling pin. This is another one of those “insurance policies” to keep your dough from sticking.
★ When rolling dough, use your pie dish to calculate how big you’ll need it. Allow for enough extra width to account for the depth of the dish and make sure the extra inch or two of overhang from the dish has enough bulk for crimping the edge.
★ Size isn’t the only goal when rolling dough. You want to aim for a certain “thinness.” My pie teacher, Mary Spellman, taught me what her mother taught her: Roll it thin enough so you can just start to see the stripes of the tablecloth through the dough. I always think about this transparency, even if there are no stripes on my rolling surface.

1. In a deep, large bowl, work the butter and shortening into the flour and salt with your hands until you have almond- and pea-sized lumps of butter.

2. Then, drizzling in ice water a little at a time, “toss” the water around with your fingers spread, as if the flour were a salad and your hands were the salad tongs. Don’t spend a lot of time mixing the dough, just focus on getting it moistened. Translation: With each addition of water, toss about four times and then STOP, add more water, and repeat.

3. When the dough holds together on its own (and with enough water, it will), do a “squeeze test.” If
it falls apart, you need to add more water. If it is soggy and sticky, you might need to sprinkle flour onto it until the wetness is balanced out. The key is to not overwork the dough! It takes very little time and you’ll be tempted to keep touching it, but don’t!

4. Now divide the dough in two balls (or three, if your pie dishes are smaller) and form each into a disk shape.

5. Sprinkle flour under and on top of your dough to keep it from sticking to your rolling surface. Roll to a thinness where the dough almost seems transparent.

Prepare the Filling: Mix cherries, sugar, tapioca, and salt together in a large bowl. Let sit for about 20 minutes to let tapioca activate, then pour into pie shell.

Add a pat of butter on top, then cover with the top crust. Trim and crimp edges, brush with beaten egg, then poke vent holes. Bake at 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5) and bake for another 30 minutes or more. Filling should be bubbling.

Go for the lattice top on this pie! Those cherries will look so pretty poking out from underneath with all their messy, delicious-looking juice oozing out.

If you use frozen cherries, you don’ t need to thaw them first, but you will need to let them sit longer in the tapioca before baking— about an hour. You will also need to increase the baking time by about 30 minutes so they cook fully.

If you use cornstarch instead of tapioca to thicken, and you don’t mind doing an extra step—and having another dish to wash—you can pre-cook the cherries in a saucepan over the stove, stirring in the sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and heating, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Ms. American Pie

Beth M. Howard knows about pie. She made pies at California’s Malibu Kitchen for celebrities including Barbra Streisand (lemon meringue), Dick Van Dyke (strawberry rhubarb), and Steven Spielberg (coconut cream) before moving back home to rural Iowa. She now lives in the famous American Gothic House (the backdrop for Grant Wood’s famous painting) and runs the hugely popular Pitchfork Pie Stand.

With full-color photos throughout, Ms. American Pie features 80 of Beth’s coveted pie recipes and some of her own true tales to accompany them. With chapters like Pies to Heal, Pies to Seduce, and Pies to Win the Iowa State Fair, Beth will divulge her secret for making a killer crust without refrigerating the dough and will show you how to break every rule you’ve ever learned about making delicious, homemade pie.