Sunday, March 18, 2012

Easy as Cherry Pie

And yes, Cherry Pie is actually quite easy to make.  Admittedly, this recipe is for the down and dirty version, rather than the made from scratch with fresh ingredients version.  What can I say? It's easier and tastes just as good.  So, need a quicky dessert that still tastes delicious and will impress?  Cherry Pie has got your back.

What You'll Need
               Supplies                                                                Ingredients
1 pie plate                                                             1 box pie crust               
Pizza slicer                                                            2 21 oz cans cherry pie filling

Now Let's Make Cherry Pie!
First, let's go over a note on the ingredients.  It's important that you buy cherry pie filling, not cherries in syrup or water.  Cherry pie filling can typically be found down the baking aisle (of any reasonably laid out grocery that is)

Anyway, preheat your oven to 375F.  Line your pie dish with one of the boxed crusts (1 box = two crusts). Press the crust to the bottom of the pie plate and into curve of the dish. You don't have to squish it, but you want to make sure there isn't space for air pockets to form. Lightly fold the excess crust over the side of the plate; this will make the basket weave top a little easier later on.

Now, open your cans of cherry pie filling.  Spoon the contents of each can into the pie crust, making sure to scrape all the filling from the can (sad filling is sad). Smooth the filling into the crust so that there are no empty spots and the top of the filling is fairly even.

Spread your other crust out on a flat, clean surface. Using your pizza slicer, cut the crust into evenly sized strips. The size can range depending on how much weaving you want to do.  Mine are usually about 3/4 of an inch wide (unless my hands are shaky and I accidentally do 1/2 inch strips, thus compelling my OCD nature to do the rest the same way. *twitch*).

Now, lay strips in one direction across the pie. Space them about 3/4" to 1" apart. Again, this is flexible and depends on the size of your strips; just try to keep the spacing somewhat even and aesthetically pleasing.  On one end of the strips (only one!), press the end into the side of the pie crust in order to seal it to the crust.  Don't worry if you have a little excess crust on the end; we'll deal with that later (*cracks knuckles menacingly*).

Turn the pie so you'll be weaving in a direction you find comfortable.  I like to go up, so I turn my pie so that the first set of strips sit horizontally to me. Peal all the strips back in the opposite direction, and gently drape them over the edge of the plate.  Take another crust strip, seal it to the edge of the pie perpendicular to the others. Begin weaving by folding the strips down over and under the strip you're working with. When you reach the other side of the pie, seal the strip to the pie crust (both ends of this one should be sealed), and peal back the other crust strips again. Repeat the process, spacing the strips evenly, until you've completely covered the pie. Seal the other strips pie crust as you finish the last strip.  Carefully cut or pinch off any excess crust from the ends of the strips. Fold the bottom crust over the sealed ends of the strips, and press to seal. If you want to get really fancy, you can press a fork around the edges (I didn't).

Bake the pie at 375F for about 30 minutes, until the crust turns golden brown. There should be no translucent parts showing; those are unbaked portions and a sign that the pie needs a little longer.  Remove the pie, cool and then serve.  The more you allow the pie to cool the better the filling will set and the prettier your pie slices will be.  Needless to say, when I serve my pie, it rarely retains slice form. This pie goes great with vanilla ice cream, and the recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.
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