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Windswept Cherry Pie

Provided by Lei Shishak

Makes one 9-inch pie

windswept cherry pie

Sweet Butter Crust:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into ½-inch cubes
4 ½ tablespoons ice cold water

Cherry Filling:

1 cup cherry cola
2 pounds dark cherries
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Almond Streusel Topping:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Make the crust:

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold cubed butter. Mix on low to medium speed until butter is broken down to pea size, about one minute. Add the cold water all at once and mix until the dough comes together — about 15 seconds. Remove dough from the mixer and gently shape it into a disc with your hands. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Place crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use kitchen scissors to trim the dough leaving a ½-inch overhang. Fold overhang under to be flush with the edge of pie plate. Flute as desired. Poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place in the refrigerator while you make the filling and streusel.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the filling:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cherry cola to a medium bowl. Continue cooking the cola until it is reduced to a half cup. Let the cola cool in the refrigerator while you pit the cherries. Place pitted cherries in a bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the reduced cola, cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over low-medium heat whisking continuously. Add the pitted cherries and continue cooking until mixture is thickened and shiny — about two minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and fold in the almond extract. Set aside while you make the almond streusel.

Prepare almond streusel:

Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar and almonds in a medium bowl. Add the butter and toss the entire mixture gently with your hands until the butter is incorporated. The mixture will resemble loose cookie dough.

Remove the fluted pie crust from the refrigerator. Pour the cherry filling into the shell. Sprinkle the streusel over the filling. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until filling bubbles and streusel is golden brown. Let cool completely before serving.

About the Author

Lei ShishakLei Shishak is an established pastry chef who trained at the CIA in New York and worked at restaurants in Sun Valley and Los Angeles. She is the author of three notable cookbooks: Beach House Baking, Beach House Brunch, and the forthcoming Farm to Table Desserts. Her formative years were spent working as Michael Mina’s pastry chef at the Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, California. She has been featured in People, Riviera Magazine, Sunset Magazine, Coast, the Los Angeles Daily News, Fine Living, and many more media outlets. She resides in Dana Point, California.


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