Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pie # 33: Floating Top Cherry-Vanilla Bean Pie

Cherry pie is a classic; I (among others) believe it's even better than apple pie. Traditional cherry pies are baked with sour cherries in the filling. This recipe (adapted from Ken Haedrich's Pie) uses sweet cherries and a vanilla bean baked right into the filling. It's a simple recipe with dramatic effect. I brought this to a dinner right after pulling it out of the oven and it was gone instantly. (I think my coworkers were disappointed that they didn't get to taste the leftovers.) Serve this with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Vanilla Bean.
Cherry-Vanilla Bean Pie


4 cups sweet cherries (mine were frozen), stemmed and pitted
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of ground nutmeg
One 3-4 inch section of a vanilla bean, slit lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine cherries, 1/3 cup sugar, and lemon juice in medium bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to juice. Mix together remaining sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. After cherries are done juicing, add cornstarch mixture and nutmeg.

Carefully pour the filling into unbaked pie shell.  Bury the vanilla bean in the center of the filling so it's easy to find later. Make the floating top by rolling out top crust and using a bowl slightly smaller than the pie plate as a stencil for a circle. Use a sharp knife to cut the circle and place over pie filling so that (about) 1 inch of filling is visible around the sides. 

Brush melted butter and raw sugar over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake pie for 25 - 30 more minutes (until filling is bubbly). Cool for at least 2 hours. Remove vanilla bean before serving.

This pie is ready for a BBQ!
My new friend, Priya.
Picture by Priya

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