This 5-ingredient recipe is quintessentially summer. Do whatever you can to make this with fresh cherries. Grab a bowl, a cherry pitter and a little time (a sweet partner is helpful). Rocking chair on porch is entirely optional.
1-1/2cupsAll purpose flour
1/2cupWhole grain flour
1/3cupIce watermore if needed
2lbsFreshpitted cherries (frozen will also work)
To make the filling: Bring the cherries and sugar to a simmer (using an extra 1/2 cup of water if using fresh cherries). Add a touch of almond extract or lemon juice, if desired. While you are waiting, stir the flour and water together. Once the fruit is simmering, add the slurry of water all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture thickens. Pour this onto a cookie sheet or wide plate or platter to cool quickly. You can make this days ahead of time, but it should be cooled before you place it into your pie crust.
If using a food processor, pulse your dry ingredients for a few seconds. If you're doing this by hand, simply mix them to disperse the salt and sugar well.
Add your butter and pulse until you no longer hear the large chunks bouncing around. This should take between 8-10 quick pulses. If doing this by hand, use your fingers to rub the cold butter into the flour or a pastry cutter to cut the butter pieces into the flour. We like to flake the butter between your thumbs and index fingers until the butter pieces are flaked to about the size of your thumbnail.
Once you’ve flaked the butter add the water. Pour into the food processor as you pulse, just until the dough starts to come together in clumps. If doing this by hand, pour the water in and using your hands as large scoops, shoveling the water into the bowl to create a shaggy dough. You may need to use the extra water, as your hands will absorb some of it. Once you can squeeze the dough and it just starts to stay together, you’re done. Don’t add so much water the dough feels sticky. If it does, simply toss in a little more flour. Press the dough into two flat discs, wrap and chill for at least an hour in the fridge or for up to a couple months in the freezer.
On a well-floured surface, begin to roll out your doughs until each is about 3" larger than your pie tin. The best way to roll out pie crust is to place your rolling pin (flour it first) on the center of your dough. Move forward, stopping just shy of the edge of the dough, then move backwards. Turn your dough a quarter turn and repeat until the dough is about 3” larger than your tin around each side. Pick up the dough using your rolling pin and place it in the tin.
Scoop your filling into the crust. Top with the second pie crust and using scissors, trim the top and bottom doughs together so that they hangs just a hair off the sides. Tuck the dough under and crimp (I like to push my index finger between my thumb and middle finger). Freeze the pie for at least one hour, or up to several weeks.
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Sprinkle the frozen pie with coarse or regular granulated sugar (organic unbleached sugar works best) and place into the oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 375F and bake until golden all over. Let the pie sit for about one hour before cutting into it and serving.