Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Many Faces of Opa

Today was Opa's birthday! We had a simple celebration today with plans to do something bigger this weekend.  We had homemade mac and cheese per Opa's request with salad and cherry pie for dessert (recipe to follow)
Here are the many AWESOME faces of our AWESOME Opa!  Happy Birthday Opa!

Cherry Pie Filling
Courtesy of foodnetwork.com
4 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries
1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 tablespoon almond extract (optional)
Favorite pie crust or pie dough recipe for 2 crust pie (recipe to follow)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, to dot
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle
Place cherries in medium saucepan and place over heat. Cover. After the cherries lose considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract, if desired, and mix. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Use your favorite pie dough recipe. Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan. Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

Perfect Pie Dough
courtesy Kelsey Nixon
Note: next time I will probably do part shortening and part butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled or frozen
4-6 tablespoons ice cold water
In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and the salt; cut or work the butter into the flour with your fingers or with a pastry blender until you have large pea-size chunks scattered throughout. Alternatively,pulse the dough in a food processor, or mix in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed.
Add the vanilla and ice water slowly while stirring with a fork, or in the food processor or mixer, until just combined. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Divide the dough into 2 disks, flatten and refrigerate each for at least 15 minutes.

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