05 July 2012

Cherry Pie Fillling and Cherry Pie

I decided to be daring and make a pie from scratch. Totally from scratch, even the filling. I made a blueberry pie once and it was the worst pie on the planet. I used way too much corn starch and the blueberry filling wasn't very gooey it turned out very, very solid. Well, I bought some cherries at the grocery store last week. We didn't eat them as quickly as normal so I set aside the memory of the blueberry pie, found a cherry pitter and got to making a cherry pie.  I had a lot of cherries and thought that I might have enough to can some of the filling so I decided to find a recipe that could be canned. I found a trust worthy recipe, that came from the USU extension service. As it turns out it called for Clearjel to be used to thicken the liquid (as did every other recipe I looked at), which is oddly impossible to find when you live in a little town. I would think that canning supplies would be easier to find in an area where there is still a lot of farms and easy access to fresh produce in bulk. I guess I would be wrong. Anyway, I found a recipe that could be canned with out the clearjel, that you could add the flour to after you opened the jar to use it. As it turned out I had just enough cherries to make one pie so I didn't have enough for any canning. I just added regular corn starch instead of Clearjel. By the way if you are wondering what clearjel is, it is not pectin, it is a modified cornstarch that doesn't breakdown during the canning process like regular cornstarch does.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling
(yield one quart or one pie, the original recipe provides quantities for larger canning batches);
  • 5 cups cherries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Clearjel* (you may use cornstartch if you are NOT canning the pie filling)
*As an alternative to using ClearJel®, you may can the pie filling without the thickener and add flour to the filling after opening the canned jar by either 1) bringing pie filling and  flour to a simmer, stirring constantly until it has simmered five minutes and then bake pie as instructed ;OR 2) mixing together equal parts melted butter and flour, then stirring mixture into the pie filling before baking.

Remove stems and wash cherries, removing those that float.Pit cherries using a cherry pitter.
Mix together sugar and Clearjel or cornstarch in a large, heavy pan. Add water, cinnamon and almond extract and slowly bring to a boil, stirring continuously until mixture begins to thicken. Add in lemon juice and then fold in cherries. Bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until cherries begin to soften. If canning, can immediately. To can process in a boilin water canner for 30 minutes* for half quart and quart jars.

*10 minutes for below 1,000ft
  1,000-3,000 ft add 5 minutes
  3,000-6,000 ft add 10 minutes
  6,000-8,000 ft add 15 minutes
  8,000-10,00 ft add 20 minutes

Cherry Pie
  • 2 recipes worth of  favorite pie crust dough
  • 1 quart homemade cherry pie filling
Preheat oven to 425F. Roll out half of pie crust and place in a 9 inch pie plate. Add cherry filling. Roll out remaining pie crust and place over pie filling. Seal edges and and a fel slits to top pie crust for venting. Cover pie with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes and 425F. Reduce heat to 350F and remove foil. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Tip: I cut the little stars out before I put the crust on top of the pie.

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