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Cinnamon-Clove Fresh Cherry Pie

by Cathy Pollak
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cinnamon-clove-cherry-pieCherries are especially prolific in the Pacific Northwest. Just about every variety you can think of are currently available at the markets and farm stands. They are hard to pass up since they are so juicy and sweet. 

I have such great childhood memories of the cherry picking adventures I experienced with my family in Beaumont, California. My brother and I would climb up in the trees on these really high-rickety ladders. We would pick and eat cherries until the juice was dripping down our chins, hands and necks. It was always really hot, which means we were very sticky, sweaty and extremely dirty by the end of the day. You can picture it right? And for some reason we were always wearing white, something I still don't understand.

Anyway, I had a load of fresh, sweet cherries last week and I couldn't let summer go by without making a fresh cherry pie. However, I wanted to spice it up. If you have never experienced a "spiced cherry" anything...it's time.

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The flavor is outstanding and gives a whole different taste structure to the regular cherry pie. If at all possible, freeze some fresh cherries this season and make this pie at Thanksgiving. It will fit into your menu with all its warm, Fall-ish seasonings.

This was also my first time making a lattice pie crust! I always expected it to be much harder, but really there was nothing to it. Okay, there is a little more handling of the dough but other than that it's not that difficult. I did freak out a little when the juices kind of creeped out the top during the cooking process but ultimately it made the pie look that much prettier.

When making the lattice crust, a pizza cutter is used to make the strips. If you're worried about making straight lines, just use a ruler. Otherwise free-hand it like I did. It's all about weaving the strips, it's really easy and it doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, the more rustic looking the better.

I made a butter crust for the pie dough. Butter crust must be chilled before it is rolled out, don't skip this step. There are reasons to chill the dough that make a difference in the final crust.

Cinnamon-Clove Fresh Cherry Pie
Created by Cathy Pollak for NoblePig.com | Serves: One 9-inch pie

Ingredients:

Flaky Butter Crust Pie Dough:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter, diced
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup iced water (you might not use all of it)

Pie Filling:

2 lbs fresh, sweet pitted cherries (such as Bing)
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:

Place all ingredients for the pie filling in a large bowl and gently combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, butter and salt. Process for about 30 seconds and with the machine still running, begin adding water through the feed tube, about 1 Tablespoon at a time. Stop adding water once dough comes together in a ball. Divide the dough in half and form 2 flat discs. Wrap each with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours.

Remove dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured cutting board. Roll out one disc of dough to fit a 9" pie dish and line your dish with it (not deep dish). Let your dough hang over the edges about 1/2 an inch. Roll out second disc to the same size as the first. Using a pizza cutter, cut even, 1/2-inch strips of dough, you'll need about 10-12.

Because I didn't take step-by-step pictures of making the lattice crust, I am going to send you to the link (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_a_lattice_top_for_a_pie_crust/) of a good friend who has an amazing picture tutorial. It's really easy to follow. (You can find the hyperlink below.)

Once dough is weaved, bake pie in the oven at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Turn down heat to 375 F and bake for another 40 minutes or until crust is slightly golden and juices are bubbling.

Let cool completely before serving with vanilla ice cream.

 

Cathy has her own vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at noblepig.com.

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