It just wouldn’t seem like summer without the words “cherry pie” in there somewhere.
Not that this is your typical cherry pie, and neither should it be enjoyed strictly in the summer time. I’ve made this pie with thawed frozen cherries when they’re not in season – if that’s all you can find just be sure they’re drained well, as thawed fruit will release a bit more juice than fresh.
Cherries combine so well with almonds, and here I decided to play up their essence in a dessert that has the homey feel of a cobbler or fruit clafoutis. I thought of the French pastry filling frangipane, a creamy blend of almonds bound together with butter, sugar and eggs that you might find inside a croissant or tart filling.
Makes 1 9-inch pie
For the dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
For the filling:
3 ounces almond paste, crumbled
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups pitted fresh cherries or thawed frozen cherries, drained
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 tablespoon turbinado or raw sugar
To make the dough, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with a fork or pastry blender until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water. Blend with a fork until the dough comes together. If there’s flour on the bottom of the bowl, add more water a teaspoon at a time until you can gather the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator to soften slightly while you make the filling.
To make the filling, beat the almond paste and sugar in a stand mixer until it breaks into small pieces. Beat in the butter until creamy, then add t
the egg, almond extract and milk. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter until just blended. Set aside.
Smack the dough with a rolling pin to flatten. Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with more flour. Roll the dough firmly away from you, turning the dough a quarter after each roll to form a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Fold the dough gently over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough into the pan and up the sides, trimming off the excess on the edges.
Scrape the filling into the pan. Arrange the cherries in a layer over the filling, and sprinkle the top with the almonds and sugar.
Bake about 25 minutes, or until lightly golden and the filling is set. Cool the pie on a rack before serving.
baking, cherry, fruit, pie, summer
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