This is the 1999 American Pie Council's National Pie Championship first place winner in the Fruit and Berry Category.
INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings):
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 pounds sour cherries, pitted
- 1 1/8 cups white sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until pea sized. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Roll one ball out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place bottom crust in pie plate. Roll out top crust and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.) In a saucepan, combine cherries, sugar and cornstarch. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the juices thicken and become translucent. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and almond extract. Mix thoroughly and pour into pie shell. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.