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Author Notes: This recipe comes from Curtis Stone and is a part of Food52's Bake Off benefitting No Kid Hungry.
Pull this cherry pie out of your back pocket for your next special summer occasion or Sunday night family meal. The pie looks like something from the best pastry shop in town but is far better than any store-bought dessert. The cherries are fresh, the dough is super buttery and tender, and the lattice allows steam to escape, thickening the juices and concentrating the flavor of the pie filling.
The secret to homemade pastry dough is to avoid blitzing your butter to smithereens in the food processor. Leaving pea-size pieces of butter in the dough is key, because they will melt in the oven and release water, which will become steam. The steam helps to puff up the dough and contributes to that melt-in-your-mouth texture. The dough can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Alternatively, it can be frozen for up to 1 month.
HOW TO LATTICE: The word “lattice” refers to the strips of pastry woven together to create the top crust. Once you get going, latticing is a pretty simple technique, and it’s fun to do. If weaving feels a bit intimidating, though, just lay half of the strips across the pie parallel to each other, then lay the remaining strips across them, perpendicular to the bottom strips. Don’t worry if your strips aren’t perfect—all the more handmade charm.
Here’s how to form a woven lattice: Lay half of the strips across the filling, spacing them evenly. Fold back every other strip; then place another strip perpendicular at the folded edge of the strips. Unfold the folded strips so they lie over the perpendicular strip. Fold back the other set of strips. Stopping about 1 inch from the first perpendicular strip, place a second perpendicular strip at the folds, and unfold the folded strips. Repeat with the remaining 3 pastry strips to cover the pie with the lattice. —Food52
Serves 8 to 10
Buttery Pastry Dough
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
pound 2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
About 1/3 cup ice water
Cherry-Amaretto Lattice Pie
cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
cups pitted fresh dark sweet cherries (about 2 pounds unpitted cherries)
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
tablespoon tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
teaspoons whole milk
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- To make the pastry dough: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, or until the butter is in pea-size pieces; do not overprocess. While pulsing the processor, add 1/3 cup of the ice water, then pulse just until moist clumps of dough form, adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it in half. Make one half slightly larger and shape each piece into a thick disk. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- Position one rack in the lower third of the oven and a second rack just above it. Set a baking sheet on the bottom rack. (Being near the heat source will help the bottom crust bake and brown properly. The baking sheet will catch any bubbled-over juices.) Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- In a medium bowl, combine 3⁄4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and the salt. Stir in the cherries, amaretto, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick; set aside.
- Unwrap the larger disk of dough, set it on a floured surface, and lightly dust the top of the dough. Roll out the dough into a 13-inch round, occasionally rotating the dough and dusting it with flour to prevent sticking. Brush away the excess flour and transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch glass pie plate, centering it in the pie plate and letting the excess dough hang over the edges. Lightly press the dough into the dish. Refrigerate the pie shell.
- On the floured surface, roll out the other disk of dough into a 12-inch round. Using a large knife, cut ten 1-inch-wide strips from the dough round.
- Transfer the cherry filling to the pie shell, then scatter the butter on top. Arrange the dough strips over the filling, forming a lattice (see Note on page 146). Trim the dough overhang to 3/4 inch. Pinch the bottom crust and strips together and fold the overhang under. Crimp the edges to seal. Lightly brush the lattice with the milk and sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar over it.
- Bake the pie on the rack above the baking sheet for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F and bake the pie for about 1 hour longer, or until the crust is deep golden and the filling is bubbling. If the crust begins to brown too quickly, tent the pie with foil. Let the pie cool on a wire rack until warm, about 1 hour.
- Cut the pie into wedges and serve warm with ice cream.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!