Monday, January 25, 2010

Cherry Almond Custard Pie


We have never acquired a taste for canned cherries, so we eagerly grabbed a big bag of beautiful sweet cherries when they appeared at the market last week.  We bought enough to make this pie, a spin on the classic French dessert, cherry clafouti, plus a lovely cherry almond loaf (recipe coming soon).  Sweet cherries baked in an almond custard, all surrounded by a flaky pie crust.  Definitely worth the wait for fresh cherries.

Cherry Almond Custard Pie

Crust
makes enough for 2 pies

2            cups             unbleached A.P. flour
1/4         tsp                salt
1            tsp                sugar
1/2         lb                 unsalted butter, cubed and kept cold
1/4         cup               vegetable shortening, cold
 1/4        cup               ice water

Filling

1 1/2      cups             sugar
3            Tbs               unbleached A.P. flour
1/4          tsp               salt
3                                 eggs
2             Tbs              unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2       cups             buttermilk
1             tsp                vanilla
1/2          tsp                almond extract
                                   zest of 1 small lemon
3             cups             fresh, firm sweet cherries, stems removed, pitted and halved
                                   cinnamon

Crust
  1. Combine Dry.  Add half the butter and mix until resembles coarse meal.  Add rest of butter and the shortening and cut in, leaving larger pieces of fat (around 1/4").  Add ice water until dough forms a ball (you may not need all the water).
  2. Divide into two balls, wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Let dough rest at least 4 hours before rolling out, but will keep for several days in the refrigerator if you want to plan ahead.
  3. Roll out on a well-floured surface.  
  4. This recipe only uses one ball of dough, and requires an unbaked pie shell.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 325° convection (350°conventional) and place rack in middle of oven.
  2. Combine sugar, flour and salt.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time.
  3. Add melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla, almond extract, and lemon zest.
  4. Fold in 2 cups of cherries.
  5. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.  Use last cup of cherries to make a decorative pattern, setting them into the custard cut-side down.  Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon all over the top.
  6. Bake until custard is firmly set, about 1 hour.
  7. Excellent served at room temperature or chilled.

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17 comments:

  1. I love cherries too! I have a few bags of frozen cherries and would love to make this custard pie - especially with almond flavor which my daughter loves, this would be a huge hit at my house!

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  2. I don't like canned cherries either! This looks so good. I covet that bowl also.

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  3. I love this recipe! I have a bag of frozen cherries in the freezer--and a can of them for another cake recipe to try. BTW, I nominated you and your blog for the Honest Scrap Award--see my post for more information!

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  4. I also have a bag of cherries in my freezer. This reminds me of a caflouti. How are you Robin? Have not chatted with you in a while. Check out my giveaway on my blog. Happy Monday!

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  5. Oh my, this sounds and looks delightful!

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  6. This sounds wonderful, I was going to make pear clafouti in the next couple of days, but now I just want cherry!

    You are so lucky you can get them fresh this time of year.

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  7. I love cherry and almond together. Fabulous!

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  8. What a beautiful dessert! I'm looking forward to the re-appearance of fresh cherries.

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  9. I love cherries. They're my favorite fruit. I saw some at the market last week, but I've been trying to buy locally so I didn't pick any up. every summer I put up as many spiced and pickled cherries as I can. In fact we had some at lunch yesterday along with your wonderful roasted cauliflower with sage salt which has become a regular dish our house.

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  10. Aww, this looks so gorgeous! Cherries and almonds are like best friends! I adore the smell of bakewell tarts and I bet this smells similar! Yum!

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  11. This looks great! I never understood canned cherries, they don't really tatse like cherries at all.

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  12. Gorgeous pie- looks so delightful! I think I even saw some fresh cherries at the store too hmmmmm. ~Mary

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  13. Waw!! This cherry custard pie sings to me!!

    A georgous feast for the eyes!! MMMMMM,....so summerly!

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  14. Cherry clafouti is one of my favourite summer desserts... I always add almond extract to mine too, because almonds and cherries play so well together.
    Love the idea of putting it into a crust like this... too bad I'll have to wait a few more months before I can get my hands on fresh cherries (or rather, fresh cherries that are actually worth eating and that don't cost a small fortune). :(

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  15. Wow! Looks so yummy.. i am sure it really taste good. Did it come from your garden?

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  16. Wow this looks good! What a perfect tea time treat :)

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  17. Gorgeous pie pan - where did you find it?

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