Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cherry Custard Pie

Custard pie is very old-timey in my opinion.  I like that.  I also like that custard pie is rich and velvety and so deliciously decadent.  I happened to have a lot of cherries on hand and combining the two just seemed to make perfect sense to me.  I was very pleased with this pie.  The sweet cherries and rich custard were a match made in heaven.  Very much like creme brulee with cherries in a crust.  The top developed a thin, sugary, brown crust that really drove the pie home!

Cooking a custard pie can be tricky because the egg mixture requires gentle heat, but the crust needs high heat to cook through and brown.  I've read a lot about "slipped" custard  pies that require cooking the two items separately and then slipping the filling into the crust.  I wasn't ready to tackle that one just yet, so for this one I blind baked the crust first.  I went with my good ol' standard pie crust, Cook's Illustrated fool proof pie dough recipe.  The crisp, flaky crust is the perfect compliment to the creamy custard.  I used Grand Marnier in this pie, but you could substitute Kirsch or even rum.

Cherry Custard Pie
1 9" pie crust

2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 tsp.  vanilla extract
1/2 tsp.  almond extract
2 Tb.Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 cups pitted cherries

Place a sheet pan on the lowest rack of the oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees.  Roll out the pie crust and press into the pie pan.  Use a fork to prick holes in the crust all over.  Line the crust with a piece of foil and fill with dry beans or pie weights.  Place the crust on the hot sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil  and beans and allow to cool slightly.

Combine all the liquid ingredients to make the custard filling.  Put the cherries into the partially baked pie crust and pour over the custard.  Place the pie back on the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Then turn  down the heat to 325 and cook until the custard is set but jiggles lightly when you gently shake the pan, 30 to 45 minutes.  Let the pie cool on the counter for about 20 minutes and then refrigerate until cold.

Mediocre picture of an outstanding pie!

Creamy goodness!!

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