This week has seen several pie-baking projects, the result of a visit to the Farmer’s Market for a generous supply of fresh, perfect, seasonal fruit. We came home laden with strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apricots, and olallieberries. Since pie is my husband’s favorite dessert, it was off to the kitchen to make some pastry.
This beauty was the star of the pies that I baked this past week. Olallieberries are a type of blackberry. Their flavor is tart and intense and the texture is softer than a regular blackberry. Our berries were at their peak of freshness and they made the best pairing with the cherries that are now flooding the market stands here in Northern California. I chose to use an all-butter pastry for my fruit pies, but you could use any pastry you prefer. There are several choices here on the blog: this one is all-butter , this one is a old-fashioned lard crust. Fruit this good doesn’t need much adornment, just enough sugar to balance the tartness, a touch of spice, and some lemon to amplify all those great flavors.
A big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is the perfect finishing touch! This will be the start of some great summer fruit pies, so stay tuned.
The ultimate afternoon tea: Lady Grey and pie `a la mode. So very good…
Cherry and Olallieberry Pie
- Your favorite pastry for a double crust pie (see suggestions and links in the article above), well-chilled.
- 1 generous cup fresh cherries,rinsed, pitted and sliced in half
- 5 cups fresh, ripe olallieberries, rinsed and picked over (discard any overly soft or bruised fruit)
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup, plus 3 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Heavy cream for glazing the pie, several tablespoons is all you need
- Vanilla bean ice cream, for serving
- Roll out half the pastry to about a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the excess pastry to allow about an inch all around the pie plate. Refrigerate, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the other half of the pastry to a 12-inch round and carefully transfer it to a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely and refrigerate.
- Place a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper and large enough to hold your pie plate, on the bottom rack of the oven. Position another rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, gently combine the cherries, 4 cups of the olallieberries, the lemon juice, ½ cup of sugar, the tapioca, the cinnamon, and the salt. Working quickly, transfer the fruit mixture to the chilled bottom crust. Scatter the remaining 1 cup of olallieberries over the mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 3 to 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Brush the crust edge with a little cream and place the chilled top crust over the fruit-filled pie. Press the crusts together and trim to a even overhang. Roll the edges to seal and crimp the pie crust decoratively (or simply seal with the tines of a fork). Brush the top crust and edges with a small amount of heavy cream, then cut a few vents for steam in the top crust. If the pastry has softened, place the entire pie back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so, to firm the crust.
- Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. The crust should be just beginning to color and will look somewhat set. Reduce the heat to 375°F and move the pie to the center of the oven. Bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the pie is handsomely golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling thickly through the vents in the crust. Cover the edge of the crust with foil if it threatens to over-brown.
- When baked, remove the pie to a rack to cool for 2 to 3 hours. Slice and serve with vanilla bean ice cream. Store any leftovers, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for several days. Allow the pie to come back to room temperature before serving. You can also gently reheat individual slices of pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet, in a 325°F oven, for about 5 to 8 minutes.