Maya's Cherry Pie Recipe
This recipe is sooooo good and soooo easy -- especially if you use quick-cooking tapioca.
4 cups fresh Tart cherries, pitted
4 Tablespoons quick-cooking Tapioca or regular Tapioca*
(or substitute 3 tbsp. Corn starch & 3/4 cups cherry juice)**
1 cup sugar (divided)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cherry juice (divided)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 tsp. Red food coloring***
Crust for bottom and top layers
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bottom crust in a buttered pie pan and set aside.
2. (a) (Using tapioca*) In large mixing bowl, combine tapioca, salt, sugar, cherries, vanilla and almond extracts. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Turn out mixture into bottom crust and dot with butter.
(b) (Using cornstarch**) In a mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, salt and corn starch, then add 1/4 cup cherry juice to make the mixture into a paste. In a saucepan, mix remaining 3/4 cup sugar and remaining 1/2 cup cherry juice and bring them to a boil. While boiling, slowly add cornstarch and sugar mixture, stirring constantly, until it gets thick and clear. Fold in the cherries and add the almond and vanilla extracts, food coloring*** and butter.
3. Cover with top crust, flute edges and cut vents in top. Wrap foil around crust edges to prevent burning the fluted pie crust edges. Place pie on a foil lined cookie sheet to catch the inevitable drips.
4. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Remove the foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking.
*Tapioca is great natural way to get your pies to gel and alternative to cornstarch. Be sure to check which kind of tapioca you are using. Some tapioca is quick-cooking and doesn't need to be soaked overnight. If your tapioca needs to be soaked, timing is essential and we recommend using some of the excess cherry juice separated from your cherries instead of water.
**We have the best results with our pies gelling when we use Tapioca but cornstarch is more commonly found in most pantries, so we give you both options.
***Completely Optional - This is only used if you want to make your pie the traditional red that you see in many commercial photographs. We don't use it, so any of our pictures are the natural color of the cherries.