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By Chef Terri Milligan
A cherry tree produces an average of 7,000 cherries each season. It takes about 250 cherries to make an 9-inch pie. So when you look at the cherry tree, you will be seeing enough cherries for about 28 pies!
Makes one 9-inch double crusted pie
Your favorite pie crust recipe – enough for a double crusted pie
5 to 6 cups fresh or slightly thawed frozen Montmorency tart cherries
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1 whole egg combined with 2 tablespoons whole milk or half and half
1 tablespoon sugar, to sprinkle on top of the pie
If using fresh cherries, remove pits. Save juice that is extracted from the pitting process.
If using frozen cherries, thaw the cherries slightly, again, keeping the juice.
Place the cherries and juice in a large sauce pot and place on medium low heat. As the cherries warm, more juice will come out of the cherries.
Combine the sugar and 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. Add mixture to the cherries. Put back on medium low heat and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the extract. Let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using your favorite pie dough recipe, roll out dough large enough to fit into a 9-inch pie pan, with about 1 inch of dough hanging over the edge. Place cooled filling into the lined pie pan.
Combine the whole egg with the milk/half and half. Brush lightly around the edges of the lined pie crust. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 10-inch round and place on top of the pie. Trim the dough and crimp. Using a small paring knife make three ½-inch slits on the top of the pie to release steam during baking.
Brush the top of the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie on a baking pan (in case it bubbles over). Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until nicely browned. Let pie cool for at least one hour before serving.
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