My pie, just before going into the oven
Shhh. Don't tell anybody. I just made a cherry pie. The reason I don't want many people to know is because I really, really liked it. You see, I am not a pie man. In the past I have lamented making pies because they have become so Sandra Lee to me. You buy the pre-made crust, dump some fresh ingredients in and call it homemade. So I rarely make pies -- especially fruit pies.
But today I couldn't resist. I gave in to my secret desire. I made the cover recipe from the June / 2008 issue of Bon Appétit. It was the picture that got me. The partially melted scoop of ice-cream atop a perfectly latticed pie, the juices of the cherries on the plate and the evidence that a bite had been taken even though the fork is perfectly clean.
So when the husband left for work this morning I began my pie. And you can see the fruits (hahahahahaha) of my labor after the jump.
So first things first. The crust. My suggestion is increasing everything in the crust by a third. My changes are in red
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (3 1/3 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar (1 1/4)
3/4 teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon)
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1 1/3 cup which is 2 and 2/3 sticks butter)
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water
The reason for the increase in ingredients, as you will see in the pictures below, is because the base crust needs to be rolled to 14 inches, not 12 and the top crust (the lattice) needs to be rolled to 12 but it needs to be thicker. With the original recipe, neither is possible.
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole pitted sour cherries or dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (if using sour cherries) or 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (if using dark sweet cherries)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you've learned nothing from me thus far, at least I hope you have learned to almost always double the amount of vanilla called for in any given recipe)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon (about) milk
Vanilla ice cream
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form. Add 5 tablespoons ice water; mix lightly with fork until dough holds together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly before rolling out. (I have nothing to add to this, except that a pastry blender might come in handy)
Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; set aside.
Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch (14inch) round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round (make sure this round is thicker than the 14 inch round). Using large knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch-wide strips from dough round. Transfer filling to dough-lined dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strip overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and
bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature
to 375°F. Bake pie until filling is bubbling
and crust is golden brown, covering edges
with foil collar if browning too quickly,
about 1 hour longer. Transfer pie to rack
and cool completely. Cut into wedges and
serve with vanilla ice cream.
So, the reason you want to make the disk larger and thicker, respectively, is due to what you see below in the last picture. The dough needs to have the overhang to prevent the filling from oozing over the sides and the lattice needs to be thicker so the juice does not drown the strips.