America's Test Kitchen Cherry Pie

America’s Test Kitchen Cherry Pie

The amount of sugar and tapioca you use is relative, depending on the fruit’s quality and your taste. If you prefer a less sweet pie or if the fruit is especially sweet, use the lower sugar amount. If you like your pie juices fairly thick, or if the fruit is really juicy, then opt for the higher amount of tapioca. If you are using frozen fruit, measure it frozen, but let it thaw before filling the pie. If not, you run the risk of partially cooked fruit and undissolved tapioca. If using sour cherries instead of sweet, increase sugar to 1 cup and tapioca to 4 tablespoons.

Pie Dough
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
11 ablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
1/3 cup water, chilled with ice, increasing up to 3/8 cup, if needed

Cherry Filling
6 cups pitted sweet cherries or frozen cherries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 small lemon, zested to yield 1 teaspoon zest and juiced to yield 2 teaspoons juice
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon brandy
12 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Mix flour, salt, and sugar in food processor fitted with steel blade.
Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with a
little flour. Cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add
shortening and continue to cut it in until flour is pale yellow and
resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no larger than small peas, about
four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle all but 1 tablespoon of the ice water over mixture. With blade of
rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad
side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon of
remaining ice water if dough does not come together. Divide dough into two
balls, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into 4-inch-wide
disk. Dust lightly with flour, wrap separately in plastic, and refrigerate
at least 30 minutes.

Remove dough from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature to soften
slightly, about 10 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss fruit with sugar,
lemon juice and zest, spices, almond extract, brandy, and tapioca; let stand
for 15 minutes. Roll larger dough disk on lightly floured surface into
12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.

Transfer and fit dough into 9-inch Pyrex pie pan, leaving dough that
overhangs the lip in place. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into pie
shell. Scatter butter pieces over fruit. Refrigerate until ready to top with
remaining dough.

Roll smaller disk on lightly floured surface into 10-inch circle. Lay over
fruit. Trim top and bottom dough edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this
rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip.
Flute dough in your own fashion, or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four
slits at right angles on dough top to allow steam to escape. If pie dough is
very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes before baking.

Place pie on baking sheet; bake until top crust is golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices
bubble and crust is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer.

Transfer pie to wire rack; let cool to almost room temperature so juices
have time to thicken, from 1 to 2 hours.

Yields 6 to 8 servings

Source: America’s Test Kitchen

I made this recipe with the requisite “12” tablespoons of tapioca. Darn thing turned out like a brick. It was my husband’s 55th birthday special pie. He was VERY disappointed. When I checked the original America’s Test Kitchen recipe, the amount of tapioca read “3 or 4 tablespoons.” I am not a very experienced baker so I trusted this recipe. Very disappointing. I hope that my posting this comment here will prevent other less experienced bakers from making the same mistake.