My great-aunt in Pennsylvania's a great country cook, and she gave this recipe to me. It's one of my husband's favorites. I like it, too—it's easier than two-crust pies, plus I've used both fresh and frozen cherries with good results.
- 6 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries, thawed, drained and patted dry
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Dash salt
- 2 to 3 drops food coloring, optional
- 3 to 4 tablespoons butter
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
- 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- Milk or half-and-half cream
- Additional sugar
- In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugars, cornstarch, extract, food coloring and salt. Place in a greased 1-1/2-qt. to 2-qt. baking dish. Dot with butter. Set aside.
- For crust, in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Cut in shortening. Add water, a little at a time, until a dough forms. Do not over mix. Roll out on a floured surface to fit the top of the casserole. Place on top of the cherries, pressing against the sides of the dish. Cut decorative designs or slits in center to crust.
- Brush with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until crust is golden brown. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Originally published as Deep-Dish Cherry Pie in Country Woman March/April 1992, p33
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