Homemade Cherry Pie

Cherry season means pie making time!!! I love just about every kind of pie, but hot cherry pie with vanilla ice cream is a summer tradition. I refuse to even look at the bags of cherry pie filling in the grocery store..yuck!! If I am taking the time to bake, it needs to be done right. Especially if I am going to stray away from my diet, I want the real thing:)
Please follow the process of hand picked cherries to dessert satisfaction!
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup very cold unsalted butter ( I used 2 sticks, chopped into pieces)
8 tablespoons ice water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp organic sugar
4 1/2-5 cups pitted fresh cherries (I used a deep dish pie pan, so 5 worked for me!)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup organic sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
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~Pit cherries (remove stems first)
With fresh cherries, you must remove the pits. You can choose from two simple methods. Slit cherries in half or use a chopstick to push them out from stem side and retain cherry shape.
~Make the Crust
Sift flour into mixing bowl to remove lumps. Combine sugar and salt, then add butter pieces. Use hands to knead butter into flour.  Once throughly combined, add cold water.
Sprinkle fresh flour onto flat rolling surface and to ball of pie dough. Lightly coat dough with flour to prevent sticking. Roll out to an even layer about 1/8 inch thickness and slightly larger than pie dish. Leftover dough will be used for lattice. Gently place crust into dish and cut off excess dough.
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~Make the Filling
Mix cornstarch, sugar, vanilla, almond, lemon, and salt into small bowl. Then pour onto pitted cherries and gently coat them using a spatula in a separate bowl. spoon filling gently into pie crust.
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~ Add your Lattice
Take remaining chilled dough, lightly pat with flour and roll out to an even 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 1/2 -3/4 inch strips. Lay out 4-5 strips evenly spaced and parallel across topping. Use fingers to press ends into sides of bottom crust. Fold back alternating strips as you weave each new piece from alternate direction. Continue until lattice weave is completely covering pie. Press edges in around the pie dish to secure lattice.
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~Signature Touches
Chefs are artists, so make your pie an original!
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~Bake that pie already
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40-45 minutes. Or when crust is lightly brown and cherries are bubbling in the center. About 15 minutes before pie is done baking, remove from oven, lightly brush lattice with almond milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Let pie cool for 1-2hrs before slicing. (this is very hard...trust me it will still be warm, but allows filling to set)
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~Prepare to eat
While the pie is cooling...get some plates and forks ready..duh!! This is a given, but make sure you have vanilla ice cream on stand by :)
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Slice yourself a big piece, be generous with the ice cream, and enjoy all your hard work! YES..this is the best cherry pie ever:)
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