Have I ever told you that I’m not a pie fan? It’s always been my last choice when it comes to dessert. Coincidentally, I also happen to be married to a man who requests pie on the regular and in truth, I usually try to steer him in a different direction. Until lately, that is.
Having a new baby means I’m often sitting up in the middle of the night and internet-ing and I kept coming across incredible looking pies with summer fruits. I was missing being in the kitchen and felt like challenging myself so I decided to make Tom’s day and bake him one. The first pie I made entirely from scratch was this blueberry crumble one and it came out so well that I was inspired.
I quickly learned that making pie isn’t nearly the production I’d imagined it to be, and it even happens to be a fabulous dessert to make with a new baby. I can make all of the components at different times and set it aside if I need to; a cake would never tolerate such treatment.
For Tom’s birthday this year, he requested pie instead of cake. His ultimate favourite is cherry and I got right to work. I mixed a few different recipes to come up with this one. The crust is flaky, the filling is bright and juicy and the streusel adds the perfect salty-sweet crunch on top. Something about making a pie is just so darn satisfying to me now and this one will be made over and over around these parts.
Cherry Streusel Pie
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup shortening, softened
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 600 gram bag frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. corn starch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
Make the crust:
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter or the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cut the butter and shortening into the mixture until it is pea-sized bits with a few larger bits of fat.
Measure 1/2 cup of water in a cup. Add ice. Stir it around. From that, measure 1/2 cup of water– since the ice has melted a bit. Drizzle the cold water in, 1 tbsp. at a time, and stir after every tbsp. added. Do not add any more water than you need to. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps.
Transfer the pie dough to a floured work surface. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half into 1-inch thick discs using your hands. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to 5 days).
Make the cherry filling:
Reserve 1/2 cup cherry juice in a bowl and mix in the lemon juice and corn starch. Set aside. Pour the bag of cherries and remaining juice in a pot with the sugar, salt and vanilla. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes while mashing the cherries until you have some larger and smaller pieces. Once the cherries are bubbling, stir in the cornstarch and juice mix and cook for another minute until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool before placing in pie crust.
Make the streusel:
Mix together all dry ingredients and then stir in the melted butter until thick and crumbly.
Assemble and bake:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat and set aside.
Roll out your pie dough on a floured surface to a 12 inch circle. Place the rolled out crust in a 9 inch pie plate, smooth it out to fit and trim and shape the edges as desired.
Fill the crust with the cooled cherry filling and top that with the streusel. Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes and then remove it from the oven, cover it with foil and turn the oven down to 375 degrees. Continue to bake the pie for another 30-35 minutes, and remove from oven once crust and streusel are lightly golden.
Let the pie cool completely before cutting into slices and serving.
The crust recipe makes two crusts, but it freezes great for up to three months so you can keep the other on hand for the next time you need it, or just make a double-crust cherry pie.
Crust from here.
Filling adapted from here.