I don’t think there is anything that says home more than a freshly baked pie and this cherry pie says it in spades. Fresh and tart with just a hint of sweetness and a rich cream cheese crust this pie has it all.
I have to say that this cream cheese pie crust recipe has become my all time favorite pastry crust, topping even my mom’s pie crust. It goes together in a snap and is absolutely the most forgiving pastry I have ever worked with. I have very warm hands and making pastry has always presented problems because if them. Over the years I have found many solutions to overcome the hot hand syndrome but with this pastry I can throw them all out the window. Even when I get impatient and forgo the kneading in the plastic bag step and go straight to kneading it on the bench I never have a problem. It rolls like a dream, never cracks and holds it shape and doesn’t shrink when baked. Kudos Rose for this pastry.
Flour, salt and baking powder are combined in a bag and frozen along with the butter. The flour mixture and cream cheese are processed to a coarse meal consistency and then the butter is pulsed in. Cider vinegar and cream are then pulsed in. This mixture is put in a plastic bag and kneaded to bring it together. That’s it. Fabulous pastry in seconds.
Since fresh sour cherries were out of season I used canned sour cherries packed in water for the filling. I used 4 cans of cherries and the juice from two cans. The cherries and their juice are combined with sugar, cornstarch and salt and cooked slowly until they come to a boil and then cooked for a minute or two to thicken the juices. During this time you can decide if there is too much juice and easily remove some before the filling thickens. The cooked filling is cooled and then almond extract and an option cherry concentrate are added to enhance flavor.
The bottom crust is rolled out and fit into the pie pan and chilled. Then the filling is added. The top crust is rolled and cut into strips which are then weaved over the filling to form a lattice top. The pie is baked and cooled and then you sit down to a slice of home that you won’t quickly forget.