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Sweet cherry cream pie for the 4th of July.

July 4, 2014

There really isn’t anything prettier in the summer (in the U.S.) than seeing Old Glory flying proudly. Even better when accompanied by the sound of fireworks popping in the sky & the smell of burgers cooking on a charcoal grill. ‘Murica. F*$k yeah. Yet another thing that’s awesome about America: pie. Specifically, cherry pie on the 4th of July. Eff you, Arthur, you won’t spoil my fun!

This pie is a kind of cherry custard pie, being that custard is made from egg yolk & cream & that’s what you combine with cherries in this filling. A refreshing change from the ordinary cherry pies you see this time of year!

Sweet cherry cream pie with coconut milk vanilla bean ice cream!

My pie pan was a bit smaller so I halved the filling recipe & it worked out just fine, a bit flat on top but otherwise fine. If you’re using a pie pan larger than 9″, then you’re good to go with the whole filling amount. Out of all the pans I have, I wanted to use a teeny tiny metal one. Go figure.

If you do make the entire amount, you might have a bit leftover. The original recipe says to use that leftover filling as an ice cream topping!

Sweet cherry cream pie for the fourth of July.

SWEET CHERRY CREAM PIE (adapted from a recipe at Assemble Shop & Studio)

Ingredients:

  • 2 homemade -or- store-bought pie crusts of your choice
  • 2 cans of cherry pie filling -or- 2 lbs of pitted cherries
  • 1/4 cup of sugar if using filling, 3/4 cup sugar if using fresh cherries
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch (or kirschwasser) or water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 egg yolks

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Line the bottom of a pie pan with one sheet of pie crust, and lay a sheet parchment paper in the bottom, on top of the crust. Use pie weights or rice to weigh the crust down, and pre-bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. To make the filling: if you are using fresh, pitted cherries, cut them in half and put them in a medium saucepan. Add the Kirsch or two tablespoons water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cherries are steamed well, about ten minutes. Remove the heat and mash them into a lumpy “jammy” looking mix. Add the sugar and salt, and stir to mix well. Place in a cool bowl.
  4. If you are using cherry pie filling, put the filling into a colander and shake over the sink, to get as much of that oozey (and delicious) liquid out. Do this for about five-ten minutes. Once complete, put the cherry part of the filling into a large mixing bowl, and add the smaller amount of sugar and salt, and stir to mix well.
  5. In another bowl, combine the cream and egg yolks and stir with a whisk or fork to combine.
  6. Add this mixture to your pie filling, and mix until blended.
  7. To finish: pour the filling into your pre-baked pie crust (you may have a bit left over, just put that to the side for ice cream toppings!)
  8. Cut your top crust as desired or slash it and place it over the top, crimp edges together and decorate as you wish.
  9. Use the remaining egg whites and brush over the top of the crust, until shiny.
  10. Bake the pie for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool on a rack or tea towel and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Cherry cream pie for the 4th of July.

And what would pie be without ice cream? NOTHING! Except… I can’t have ice cream. I know, sad face. But the next best thing is coconut milk ice cream. While you can certainly buy delicious coconut milk ice cream, it’s sort of on the expense side: a pint cost me $5.99! Kinda crazy. Why do that when you can make a ton of your own ice cream, at any time, for less?

Yes, you really do need an ice cream maker. Sorry about that- but it’s a worthwhile investment! I have the KitchenAid ice cream maker mixer attachment, but there’s a ton of different kinds to choose from.

COCONUT MILK VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM (adapted from a recipe at Minimalist Baker)

Ingredients:

  • 2 13.5-oz. cans of full-fat coconut milk (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Using tongs, remove the vanilla bean (leaving the “caviar” in the liquid, of course) and discard. Add the vanilla extract. Pour into a heatproof bowl and let cool in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Pour into your ice cream maker and process according to the directions from the manufacturer. Once finished, place into a freezer-safe container and freeze until hardened.
  4. Let it sit 10 minutes out of the freezer (on a summer day maybe less) before serving. Enjoy!

If you’re not a cherry fan, I made a blueberry cream pie last year that knocked everyone’s socks off, so you might wanna give that a peek.

And if you do make this pie & you save your cherry pits… you can make this:

Cherry pit vodka.

Yep. You’re welcome. Just pop the pits into a jar, fill with vodka, and let it sit a week. Strain it and enjoy the faint almond-y-ness. Perfection! There you go, three recipes today for the price of one.

Be safe, everyone. Celebrate, but do so wisely & safely. And please don’t drink & drive.

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Suggestions for use: eat the pie! use the vodka for a flavoring in cakes & baked goods, use the vodka for a cocktail mixer, use the ice cream as a base for sundaes/milkshakes/ice cream floats, put it on this cherry pie, or eat it alone.
Soundtrack: Peter Gabriel – “Solsbury Hill”
Sources & credits: American flag tea towel; Target, small star cookie cutter used for pie crust; available at Sur La Table12 oz. quilted crystal Ball® jars; available at freshpreserving.com.
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