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Friday, March 25, 2016

Triple Cherry Pie inspired by Twin Peaks | #FridayPieDay

Triple Cherry Pie
About one month ago, I finally watched Twin Peaks. The first episode originally aired when I was a freshman in high school. I vaguely remember it coming out, but I think I was too young to be on the in where it was concerned. I've thought about watching it here and there over the years, but there were two things that really made me decide that now was the time to watch it.

The first being that there is a 25-year special coming out sometime soon—this year I believe. I wanted to be ready for that. But the real push actually came from a podcast that I recently discovered called Fiction Kitchen Podcast. I listened to a few minutes of their Twin Peaks episode before deciding that I really wanted to know what they were talking I hit stop and binge-watched Twin Peaks before coming back to listen to that (or any other) episode.

I can see why Twin Peaks has such cult status. Quirky, yet endearing characters, a tranquil Pacific North West setting, and a hearty appreciation for good pie and a damn fine cup of coffee existing in an unsettling fog of surrealism is how I'd describe it. I went in prepared for the long haul before realizing that there were only two seasons. So, a short haul.
Triple Cherry Pie
I'm not going to call it one of my favorite shows ever—but I'm not going to not call it that, either. Figure that one out.

Since a Twin Peaks discussion would be a source of never ending fuel, let's just talk pie. Specifically cherry pie, which is by far the most mentioned kind of pie in the series starting with our introduction to Agent Dale Cooper just over 36 minutes into the pilot episode. He's driving into Twin Peaks for the first time, talking to Diane via his trusty tape recorder, and he tells her about lunch at The Lamplighter Inn.

Agent Dale Cooper driving into Twin Peaks for the first time

"...a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat, slice of cherry pie, and a cup of coffee. Damn good food. Diane if you ever get up this way, that cherry pie is worth a stop."

I've always been a coffee and pie (preferably warm and à la mode) kind of girl, so I could identify with Agent Cooper and his appreciation for a "damn fine cup of coffee" and cherry pie (also my favorite, along with apple). I've shared a couple of cherry pie recipes here on the blog already, but this one is vying for the best one ever. While I have no problem with pies that a looser filling, my oldest son prefers his filling to be "set", so I set out to make one that could possibly become a favorite for him, as well.
Triple Cherry Pie
To make it different from my other cherry pies, I wanted to use three kinds of cherries in it. I prefer sour cherries for a basic cherry pie, but I added sweet cherries and dried (sour) cherries to this filling as well, and adore the complexity and depth that it added. When trying to decide what the best way to get a tight filling was, I came across this recipe from Batter & Dough that looked pretty perfect. She used my favorite fruit pie thickener, quick-cooking tapioca, AND cornstarch to achieve her filling which looked pretty much exactly like what I was imagining, so I based my filling on hers.

This Triple Cherry Pie turned out exactly like I envisioned it. Sweet, yet tart. Firm, yet giving when you bite in. Damn good pie. And yes, my son said it was just right.

Triple Cherry Pie
This sweet and tangy pie has a firm filling that won't buckle when you slice it and features three types of cherries—sour, sweet, and dried.
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Triple Cherry Pie
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45-50 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert vegetarian cherries pie American

Ingredients (1 (9-inch) pie)
  • 1 recipe Oh-So-Easy Pie Crust (or your favorite double-crust recipe or storebought), prepared
  • 2 1/2 cups pitted sour cherries
  • 2 cups pitted sweet cherries
  • 1 cup dried cherries (either tart w/ added sugar or sweet w/out added sugar)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 whole star anise (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon liquid (see notes)
  • big pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons raw sugar
Preheat oven to 375° F. Roll out one piece of your dough and line an 8 or 9-inch pie pan with it; set aside for a moment. 

Combine all of the cherries with the sugar, star anise (if using), tapioca, cornstarch, liquid, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepot set over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir and move the fruit around while it warming up and releasing its juices. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring now and again, until the mixture has thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almond and vanilla extracts. Remove the star anise if you used it.

Pour the filling into the waiting crust. Scatter pieces of butter over the surface.

Roll out the second crust (if you'd like to make a lattice or other cut-out crust, do that now). Lay the top crust over pie and crimp the edges to seal; if you used the crust whole, be sure to cut a few slits in it for the steam to release. Brush top crust with heavy cream and sprinkle with raw sugar.
unbaked triple cherry pie
Set the pie tin on a foil-lined baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling up at the edges. Check about 2/3 of the way through baking, and if the edges of the crust are getting too dark, cover them with a pie crust shield or foil.

Set on a wire rack to cool before slicing.

The "liquid" in the ingredient list is just to lubricate the cherries a bit and get them moving before they release their juices. I like to use some Cherry Pie Whiskey Liqueur that I have on my shelf, you can use anything with a complementary or neutral flavor such as red wine, port, cherry brandy or kirsch, orange or lemon juice, or even just water.

If you don't like to see the "tiny balls" of tapioca in your filling, grind them up in a mini food processor before using them in the recipe.

-filling adapted from Batter & Dough
Triple Cherry Pie
What makes FridayPieDay better? Friends! And my friends are once again joining me this month to share a pie. Check out Stacy's Creamy Leek and Chicken Hand Pies and Kimberly's Witches of East End Magick Pie!

And just for fun, I found this Twin Peaks: All the Pie and Coffee video a while back (although I can spot at least one missing pie reference)...

#fridaypieday at - sharing pie on the last Friday of every month.
Grab a plate and a fork, it's time for PIE! Pull a chair up to the table and help me dive deeper into the wonderful world of pie; from fruit pies to nut pies to cream pies to icebox pies and savory pot pies and skillet pies. Whether it's a traditional round pie, a slab pie, or even a hand pie—it's going to be all about the pie.

Join me on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration. For more information and recipes, please check out my #FRIDAYPIEDAY page!

Triple Cherry Pie