Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Leelanau Peninsula: Perfect Tart Cherry Pie

Michigan produces three quarters of the nations tart cherries and this year we have had a devastating crop loss due to an early freeze.  The bright red cherries in the left side of this photograph are tarts and I bought one of the containers to make a fresh cherry pie.  

I was at the farmer's market in Suttons Bay on Saturday and I spoke to the farmer himself and he jokingly said, "That's most of my crop this year."  To hear him talk of it, broke my heart, but that is the business of farming, if Mother Natures throws a curve ball, the farmers have to cope.

I was glad to support him with a purchase (I bought a carton of the dark sweet cherries too) and the tarts made the best cherry pie ever!  

Fabulous Cherry Pie

2 frozen deep dish pie crusts
4 cups washed and pitted tart cherries
3/4 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons quick tapioca
1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Open the package of frozen pie crusts and cut the rim off of one of them.  Tip it out of the tin pan and onto a cutting board. Cut the circle of pie crust into long strips with a knife - this will be your lattice.

Mix cherries, sugar, tapioca and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Allow to sit 15-20 minutes.  Stir well and pour into whole frozen pie shell.  Lay the strips of crust across the pie and arrange into a lattice or basket weave pattern.  Pinch dough strips to edge of pie shell to seal the strip.  Brush crust lattice and rim with a beaten egg.  Sprinkle entire top of pie with a little white sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature with creamy vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

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