CHERRY ALMOND PIE
As much as my family loves Fresh Cherry Pie, I didn't think there was anything I could do to improve it. But boys and girls, today is a new day! And we're gonna start with a new kind of Cherry Almond Pie that is going to knock.your.socks.off!
My Fresh Cherry Pie has just the slightest hint of almond in it...and the secret ingredient in this pie takes that delicate almond flavor to a whole new level. Not to mention crunchy almonds around the edge of a buttery and flaky pie crust. It's simply cherry almond pie perfection!
And our secret ingredient? Almond paste. I usually bake with this only during the Christmas holiday season, but it is perfect in so many other things that I've been experimenting with. The delicate flavor adds just the perfect touch, and if you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't even notice it in this delicious cherry-filled pie. Odense Almond Paste is imported from Denmark, and other bakers agree that it has the best flavor, best texture and it is oh-so-easy to work with! It's got a texture similar to playdoh, and you can roll it or pat it with your fingers to smooth it into shape and place on the bottom of the pie crust, right before you spoon your cherry pie filling into the crust.
Almond Paste transfers my regular Fresh Cherry Pie to a whole new level - and no one has stopped talking about this yet. The almond paste melts into the tender cherry sauce and just oozes delicate flavor throughout the pie. You won't need a lot - just a touch will do the trick! It will be our little secret!
I don't think there's a pie much prettier than a lattice-topped cherry pie, and this one is no exception. Take your time and be creative with the crust. Just make sure to refrigerate it for 15-30 minutes before you bake to keep everything light, buttery and flaky.
I have a feeling that I'm going to need to make a couple of these for Thanksgiving this year - they are a family favorite!
Double Pie Crust (homemade or refrigerated)
Egg Wash: 1 large egg (room temperature) and 1 tablespoon milk
½ cup sliced almonds
Cherry Pie Filling:
2 cans Cherry Pie Filling (I use Duncan Hines Wilderness Extra Fruit)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ pkg (4 oz.) Odense Almond Paste (room temperature)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into pieces
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. Prepare Pie Crust: Prepare two pie crusts per your favorite recipe, or use two refrigerated pie crusts.
2. Make the Cherry Pie Filling: In a large bowl, combine the cherry pie filling and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, stirring gently; set aside.
3. Roll out the chilled pie dough: Lightly sprinkle flour into bottom of a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate (this will keep your crust from sticking to the bottom of the pie plate.)
4. Roll one piece of dough into a 12-inch circle on floured counter (keep the other pie crust refrigerated). Roll dough loosely around your rolling pin and unroll into the pie plate, leaving at least a 1-inch overhand on each side. Working in a circular motion, ease dough into place by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with the other hand. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Using your thumb and forefinger, flute and crimp edge of dough evenly around pie plate. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate again until dough is firm, about 15 minutes.
5. Unwrap the almond paste. With your rolling pin and/or fingers, flatten half of it out into a 9-inch disc to fit snug into the bottom of the pie crust. Gently place on top of the pie crust. Spoon the Cherry Pie Filling on top of the almond paste. Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling. Refrigerate until you are ready to arrange the lattice.
6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
7. Arrange the lattice: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a circle that is 12 inches diameter. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 1/2 inch strips. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and carefully thread the pie dough strips over and under one another to create the look in the pictures pie, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Press the edges of the strips into the bottom pie crust edges to seal. Use a small knife to trim off excess dough.
8. Prepare Egg Wash: In a small bowl, beat egg and milk with a fork until frothy. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edge and lattice top of the pie crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle or set almond slices around the top edge of the pie crust. Sprinkle the lattice top with coarse sugar.
9. Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
10. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350°F (177°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, or until the lattice top is golden and the cherry pie filling is bubbling.
11. Transfer pie to a rack; cool completely before serving (at least 3 hours) – my family prefers it refrigerated overnight before serving.
12. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
YIELD: One 9-inch pie
Originally posted November 2014; revised and reposted November 2017
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