My sister-in-law makes a fabulous CHERRY pie for Thanksgiving, but since we aren't always together for the HOLIDAY she shared her recipe with me several years ago. It's so good, I've decided I better SHARE it with all of you! I have to start by saying I've never liked cherry pie. Ever. Until I had one little BITE of my husband's slice years ago. I've been hooked ever since! It's a beautiful pie and is perfect for CHRISTMAS dessert.
Perfect Cherry Pie
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
6 to 7 tablespoons ice water
3 cans tart red cherries, drained with 1 cup juice reserved
1 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup cornstartch
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
10 drops red food coloring (optional, but it makes it really pretty!)
For the crust, combine the flour, salt, and shortening with a pastry blender until you have pea-size crumbs. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the crust comes together. Divide dough into two portions, one for the bottom of the pie, one for the top. (The bottom needs to cover the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides, so I always do more for the bottom.) Refrigerate until ready to use, or for at least 30 minutes.
Over medium heat, stir the cherries, 3/4 cup sugar, and cornstarch together with a flat-bottom whisk until smooth and clear. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Let cool.
Poor filling into rolled out pie crust dough and top with remaining pie crust dough. Press top and bottom dough together all around the pie and cut an excess off. (You can also crimp the edges to make it pretty!) Cut a few slits in the top for venting and sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon and sugar over top. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes and golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream of course!
TIP: We love this crust recipe and usually do 1 1/2 of the recipe for a thicker crust. I totally recommend it, but if you like less crust, this way is totally fine!