I use homegrown cherries in this bountiful pie with its unique crunchy coconut topping. But I've found that purchased tart cherries yield a dessert that's nearly as delicious. I always bake this pie around Presidents' Day or Valentine's Day, but it's popular with my family in any season.
- Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
- 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) pitted tart cherries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate with pastry. Trim to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges. Bake 6 minutes; set aside.
- Drain cherries, reserving 1 cup juice. Set cherries aside. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in cherry juice until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from heat; stir in cinnamon and food coloring if desired. Gently fold in cherries. Pour into crust. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 400° 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine first six topping ingredients. Stir in coconut and almonds.
- Remove foil from pie; spoon topping over pie. Reduce oven to 350°; bake 15-20 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Chill 4 hours or overnight before cutting. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Macaroon Cherry Pie in Country Woman July/August 2000, p29
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