Blue Ridge Cherry Pie

Blue Ridge Cherry Pie is delicious!

I was conducting a professional development session at Northwest Regional Educational Service Alliance last week when I asked participants to share one unique fact about themselves with the group. Jayne Spaugh of Yadkin County Schools shared with me that her daughter Emily won the American Pie Council’s National Amateur Competition with her Blue Ridge Cherry Pie. Of course, I had to try it!
As promised, this cherry pie was absolutely incredible. I could not find fresh cherries, so I bought Oregon tart pitted cherries in a can. This pie calls for a homemade crust that Jayne Spaugh tells me is wonderful. I don’t have a pastry attachment for my mixer, so I relied on the refrigerated roll-out Pillsbury crusts. I am sure Emily’s homemade crust is outstanding. However, this pie was great, even without the homemade crust.

From start to finish, this recipe will take you about 45 minutes.

Ingredients for Crust
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp plus 1- 1 ½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp Crisco shortening
½ cup ice water
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tbsp vinegar

1 tbsp milk
1 tsp granulated sugar

The flaky crust and tart cherries are perfect with vanilla bean ice cream.

Directions for Crust
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl.
Cut in Crisco until all flour is blended to form pea-size chunks.
Combine water, egg, and vinegar in a small bowl.
Sprinkle over flour mixture 1 tbsp at a time.
Toss lightly with fork until dough will form a ball. (All liquid may not be used.)
Divide dough into pieces.
Flatten each piece and wrap in plastic.
Refrigerate until chilled.
Roll bottom crust and place into 9 inch pie plate.
Spoon in filling.
Roll out top crust and cut into strips to form a lattice top.
Ingredients for Filling
1 cup cherry juice
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
4 cups pitted red cherries
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 -2 drops red food coloring (optional)
Directions for Filling
Preheat oven to 375.
In a saucepan, combine juice, sugar, and cornstarch.
Cook until mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently — need not let boil.
Let mixture cool slightly, and add cherries and flavoring.
Pour into pastry-lined pan.
Dot with butter, and top with lattice crust.
Brush with milk, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until filling in center is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
Serve barely warm or at warm temperature.

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