Nothing says pie quite like a slice of GOOD Cherry pie. Everything in the world is alright for about 10 minutes while you slowly savor the tartness of the cherries, the sweetness of the sauce, the buttery flaky-ness of the crust and the cool creaminess of the vanilla ice cream. Are you drooling yet?! This recipe has been one of my favorites since I was a very little girl. My favorite part of Thanksgiving has always been the pies after the meal. My mother and my sisters and I would sit around the table after the rush and the meal were over and would taste the pies, talk, and laugh a lot. My earliest memories of family gatherings involve these pies. My mother and my sisters are famous for their pies. I just try to keep up. :o) Here is my special pie tip for the month. USE FRESH CHERRIES. You can make pie from cherries that come in the can packed in water in a pinch but if you want a cherry pie that makes everything in the world OK then you need to use fresh or frozen (not in sugar) cherries. Last year my good friend Jill Ann hooked me up with a source for quality frozen cherries. They don't come cheap but they are so worth it. Bryan, who really hates cherry pie was a little miffed at my spending so much on cherries. He came home and found the remnants of a cherry pie I made for myself and the kids and finished the thing off and came looking for me to find out WHAT IN THE HECK WAS THAT!! "That," I told him, "was CHERRY pie, REAL Cherry pie!" It is now his all time favorite. He has been begging me to make it and that is how it made it to February's pie spot. I was going to make it for Valentine's Day but had strep and he sent me to bed and took the kids out to give me the day off. That was great!! My source for the cherries is..... Bithell Farms they deliver directly to you 3 different times per year. You can contact them to find out when they are coming to your area. I have used their cherries, red raspberries, and their apricots (apricot pie to come later this year!). On to the pie..... Cherry Pie Special
Pastry for a 2 crust pie 1 tsp lemon juice 4 cups frozen, pitted, tart red cherries 4 drops red food coloring 2 ½ Tbsp quick cooking tapioca 1 cup sugar ¼ tsp salt 1 Tbsp butter ¼ tsp almond extract Vanilla ice cream Mix frozen cherries, tapioca, salt, almond extract, lemon juice, food coloring, and sugar. Mix and let sit until the cherries are mostly thawed. While that sits, you can make your pie crust. Fit pastry into a 9 inch pie pan and trim about 1 inch beyond the edge of the pan. Fill with cherry mixture, Dot with butter. Roll out the rest of your pie dough and make the top. Either use a while piece of dough and cut vents or make 14 strips from the dough and make a lattice top. Moisten the rim of the pie when you add the lattice strips. Take the remaining strips and place them around the edge of the pie and press together. (I found that this edge is to keep the lovely pie juices from spilling out during cooking, duh!) For a pretty pie crust, brush the top with cream and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake in a hot over (450 deg F) for 40 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 deg for about 20 minutes. I added this extra time at the end because I found that the pie was never quite done, especially when you use fresh or frozen cherries. Then I turned the oven off and let the pie cool off in the oven with the door propped open. Cherry pie is best served cool. This allows the tapioca to set up and you have a lovely looking pie! ENJOY!