Monday, August 31, 2009

Cherry Custard Pie

Cherry Custard Pie

I think nothing says summer like homemade ice cream, peach pie, and cherry pie. I already made the first two this summer, so I had cherry pie on the brain. I like how this one is different, with the cherries sitting in a sweet custard and that flaky crust. This recipe's from Ken Haedrich's Pie, but I used Rose Levy Beranbaum's Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust, my all-time favorite pie dough recipe. Save your dough scraps to make the cute little cherry cutouts, and the leftover cream to whip for garnish.


This contraption is a cherry pitter. You could also use frozen, pitted cherries for convenience, especially out of season.

After rolling out, trim the ends to an even circle, and tuck under.

Shape the rolled-under edge into a scalloped crust.

Poking holes reduces puffing-up. I followed the instructions for resting and chilling, but there was still some crust shrinkage. Can't be helped sometimes, I guess.

After pouring in your custard -- which was so easy to throw together -- drop the cherries in one by one, trying to space them evenly. Plan enough time for the cooling and chilling before serving.

Cherry Custard Pie
From Ken Haedrich's Pie
1 recipe Basic Flaky Pie Pastry, Single Crust (See the cream cheese pie dough recipe I used here)
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
⅔ cup sugar
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
½ cup heavy or whipping cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ tbs kirsch, Grand Marnier, or triple sec (optional)
Pinch of salt
One 15-ounce can pitted sweet cherries, drained, or 1½ cups fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted

Prepare the pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the pastry into a 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch standard pie pan, center, and peel off the paper. Tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the edge so it is slightly higher than the rim. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, then partially prebake (Fit a sheet of foil into the pie pastry and pour in enough dried beans or other pie weights to fill to the top. Bake the pie shell on the center rack for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and lower the temperature to 375°, then take a fork and prick the pastry all over the bottom. Bake the pie shell for another 10 to 12 minutes.) and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.

Combine the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend briefly on medium speed. Add the light cream, heavy cream, vanilla, kirsch (if using), and salt and blend briefly. Slowly pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. One by one, gently drop the cherries into the filling, spacing them more or less evenly.

Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake until the custard is set, about 45 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees halfway through the baking, so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. When done, the filling will jiggle -- not move in waves -- when you give the pie a little nudge.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool thoroughly. Cover with loosely tented aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.


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