I mean, clearly this is my first pie.
That, up there? That is not the work of a seasoned pie-maker. It's just the work of a girl with an old bag of cherries in the fridge and a desire to not throw them out.
Sometimes B and I have more perishable food items (aka fruits and veggies) than we can eat. It's a nice, comfortable, first-world kind of problem to have. So we make a conscious effort, when we can, to use up everything we've got.
We were cleaning out the midget fridge on Sunday night, and B found the bag of cherries that had gotten shoved behind something else and forgotten. He asked if I wanted him to just throw them out, but I took a look and they were still viable, for the most part. Maybe not the plump, red, eat 'em by the handful kind of viable, but they weren't goners yet.
My initial thought was to saute them with a little butter, a little sugar, and a little bourbon and pour it over ice cream. And then B said, "Why don't you just make a pie?"
Why not, indeed. He found me this recipe. So while I pitted the cherries (no small feat), I dispatched B to the grocery store to pick up some almond extract, vanilla ice cream, and a pie crust (don't say a word - I am so not up to making homemade pie crust, and definitely not at 7:00 p.m. on a Sunday night.).
The recipe is super easy, and the hardest part for me was getting the top crust on straight, hence the berries you see bubbling up where they shouldn't be. If you'll look along the top edge, I hand-cut little hearts out of extra dough to make a cute design on top, but it kind of got eaten by the encroaching berry mixture.
This pie may not look perfect, but it was amazing. For my first pie, I couldn't be any happier.
Side note: Even if you wear an apron, you're gonna wanna have a Tide To-Go pen next to you while you make this. The ONE minute I took off my apron and thought I was finished, I got bright red cherry juice smack on the front of my beloved white Carolina baseball shirt with Carolina blue sleeves. I kid you not, the Tide To-Go pen got that stain entirely out. CHERRY COMPOTE, y'all, completely vanquished. What kind of voodoo magic are they putting in those things??
Basic Cherry Pie
4 cups tart cherries (we had just a little less than that)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (we just eyeballed it)
Pie crust of your choosing
Butter, to dab
Sugar, to sprinkle
Place cherries in medium-sized pot and cover. Let simmer until the cherries lose a lot of juice.
Mix sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Add to cherries, along with almond extract, and mix well.
Cook over low heat until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
Preheat oven to 375.
Prepare your pie crust as called for.
Pour cherry mixture into bottom crust and put dabs of butter on top (I forgot to do this).
Arrange top crust over the filling, making sure to cut a slit in the top for steam to escape.
Sprinkle top crust with sugar (I forgot to do this, too).
Bake for about 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, and DEVOUR.