Sunday, September 11, 2005

sour cherry pie with almond crumble topping

for filling:
1 ¼ cup sugar
¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca
pinch salt
½ tsp cinnamon
6 cups sour cherries, fresh or frozen, pitted or unpitted)
prepared deep dish pie shell

Whisk together sugar, tapioca, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large, deep skillet, place pitted cherries (if unpitted, prick each cherry with a fork or skewer so juices will run). Place over medium high heat and stir until cherries are soft and juices are running. Reduce heat to medium and add sugar mixture evenly over cherries. Stir until juices are thickened, about three minutes. Remove from heat and scrape into a prepared deep dish pie shell. Top with almond crumble. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for about 50 minutes more, until juices are bubbling thickly in the centre. (Cover loosely with foil if topping is browning too quickly.) Transfer to cooling rack and let cool 30 minutes before serving.

for topping:
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cups ground almonds
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup chilled butter

Whisk together flour, sugar, oats, almonds and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Note: It’s true, you don’t have to pit the cherries before baking with them. Some people say they give off a subtle almond flavour, but one must need a sophisticated palette to detect it. What’s sure is you can’t eat the unpitted pie in polite company, on account of the need to spit the pits.

Where to find it: Most sour cherries are processed, and fresh ones are usually only available at farmers’ markets. Buy them and freeze them for use all year.

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