Cherry pie. What else can be said that has not already? It’s such a classic, very much something I view as Americana. Something that everyone knows, and this time of year very popular. Cherries come into season during summer so it makes sense it’s made more during that time. Although I didn’t have fresh cherries, I did have some in my freezer I wanted to get rid of. With The beginning of July here, and a little dip in temps to allow more baking, I knew pie would be on the menu.
I have recently just been falling for spelt flour. It’s an older grain that hasn’t changed as much as modern wheat. Leading to better nutrients and signs of being easier to digest. I had some from Janie’s Mill so I decided to play a bit and make a pie crust with 100% spelt. I find it really interesting to use in baking. It works very similarly to all purpose flour while also being a whole wheat flour. I would love to start getting more into using older types and more whole grains in my daily baking.
I used my standard pie crust recipe. I have a weight for water but that can change so I always just do it by feel. I did weight the dough after to see if there was a big change and there was more water needed for the spelt. It’s a whole grain, of course that means more moisture needed. As for the filling I did a standard cherry pie filling. I wanted to play with the cherry flavor (I don’t get to use it all that much!) and decided to toast some coriander to grind and mix in. That’s also my past week obsession, remembering my cilantro in the garden will seed into coriander spice. New crop this season! But enough about that, check out the recipe below. I’ll go into more details after!
Spelt Crusted Cherry Pie
320g Spelt Flour
225g Unsalted Butter, cold
130g Water, cold
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
Cut in butter and rub in with hands or use a food processor, pulsing until butter is in small chunks.
If using a food process, add ingredients back into bowl. Add water and mix by hand until a dough starts to come together.
Knead until all the flour is hydrated then stop, so not to over work the dough.
Divide into 2 pieces and shape into disks 1 inch thick.
Place in bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Cherry Coriander Pie
500g Fresh or Frozen Cherries
140g Granulated Sugar
~1/2 tsp Toasted Coriander Seeds
If using frozen cherries, thaw and drain the liquid but save.
In a medium sauce pot, weigh the cherry liquid then finish to equal the water measurement.
Add the sugar and cornstarch to the liquids and whisk to dissolve.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken and become clean when it starts to boil.
Once boiling, add cherries and coriander. Mix in gently.
Set aside to cool while making the pie crust.
Roll one disk of prepared pie dough to be 1 inch larger than a 9-inch pie pan on a floured surface.
Roll onto rolling pin and transfer into pan. Lift and press into the pan and allow extra to drape, refrigerate until needed.
Roll out second crust to be a rectangle about 8-inches by 10-inches, will be thinner than the first crust.
Cut into strips and weave into a top crust on a piece of parchment.
Freeze top for 10 minutes.
Remove lined pan from the fridge and place filling into it. Take top crust and move onto the pie.
Using scissors or a knife, cut all edges but about 1 inch from the pan.
Roll edges towards the center of the pan and crimp with fingers.
Refrigerate the pie as a whole for 1 hour or until ready to bake, up to 2 days. Also can be frozen for a later day but expect bake time to be longer.
To bake, egg wash whole pie and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes. Rotate halfway.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.
So a few tricks I always like to go over with pies. Number 1: REST YOUR DOUGH. I will admit the spelt had a lot better results as a pie shape compared to standard wheat but always let the dough rest. That is the biggest mistake people make. The resting is how you get a good pie. Rest it longer if you can! Rest the dough overnight after making it, wake up and roll it out then rest the pie until that night to bake or even the next day! That’s how to make a great pie.
When making the dough I love the food processor. Yes, it is more to clean but also so fast and easy and consistent. It won’t warm the butter like your hands will. I like my butter to be in large pea sizes. A little bigger for a bit more flakiness but I like to have a good strong crust.
You can absolutely do a different top design, or just do no top crust. I love the crust with the cherry pie so I always do a top crust but it’s chef’s choice. The lattice just because I wanted to be fancy but it is a challenge so in a pinch just roll second crust to same size as first, cut shapes or a couple slits in the top to vent, layer and crimp and you’re ready. NEVER STRESS ON A PIE TOP. I love a lattice made with various sizes of strips, more abstract but that’s becoming more popular. The filling is nice and thick if you want to cut make a couple shapes and leave a design on top as well. Just have fun with this one, it’s a good pie to play with design on.
The ENTIRE time I made this pie I had Cherry Pie by Warrant playing in my head. What can I say? I was raised with rock, it just gets stuck in that deep long term memory. So blast some rock, make a great crust, REST IT, and whip up a cherry pie for the summer. Just don’t forget to take a moment when a good head banging comes along.