Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cherry Almond Coffeecake Pie

I am attempting to put out of my mind a less than desirable day and come to peace with the fact that sometimes being a parent can test every last ounce of patience I ever possessed. It was one of those days that I told my kid to go left, he went right, I said up and he went down, I said no and he did it anyway. My little man also decided to sprinkle a little back talk, a few tantrums and an overall questionable attitude into an already trying sequence of events. I am working alone and it is times like these when I wish I could morph into a male authority figure with a deep booming voice that always seems to get kids to behave. Instead, my child was in time out today on multiple occasions and Mommy had to break into a bottle of wine earlier rather than later. Note, this child can be one of the sweetest and most charming children I have ever been around but when he has a bad day, I am convinced my life expectancy plummets immeasurably.

Ok, now, about this pie and happier things. The combination of cherries and almonds was amazing and I insist that you make this addictive concoction immediately or while the cherry supply lasts. There is a layer of cherries on the bottom with a sweet almond filling and a bit of a bite from the sour cream. Sweet, nutty and wonderful with vanilla bean ice cream on top. Enjoy! xo - AJ

Adapted from Pie, 300 Tried and True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pies

For the Pie Dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold, salted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice cold water

Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse several times to combine. Add in the butter and shortening and pulse several times to cut it in. Add in the water a tablespoon at a time until it the dough comes together in a ball. Dump the dough onto a flour surface and gather together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight before rolling out.

When the dough is ready from the refrigerator, place the cold dough on a floured surface. Roll out dough with a rolling pin into a 13-inch circle. Invert the pastry over a 9 1/2 inch deep-dish pie pan. Tuck the pastry into the sides of the pan, without stretching it and sculpt the edge into an upstanding ridge. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, then partially prebake by placing a sheet of aluminum foil into the crust so the sides hang over the edge of the pan, place beans or pie weights into the bottom of the pan with the aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Allow to cool completely before moving onto placing the filling in the pie.

For the filling:

2 cups pitted sweet cherries, fresh
1 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup full-fat sour cream
1 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the cherries on a double layer of paper towels and set aside while making filling.

Combine the almonds, flour and 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar and the salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles course meal. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, the remaining 1 cup of granulated sugar and the brown sugar until smooth. Blend in the butter and the extracts. Stir the almond mixture into the liquid, blending until smooth. Arrange the cherries in a single layer in the cooled pie shell. Ladle the filling over the cherries.

Place pie in the center rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes then rotate the pie 180 degrees and bake until the filling is set in the center and the surface of the pie is golden brown, 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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