Life is confusing at the moment. Life is more than confusing at the moment. It is stressful, and scary, and devastating, and filled with emotions I can’t even put into words. And I know that it is just life. These moments come and these moments go and this won’t be the last time. I know that for certain.
And it’s moments like these where it’s easy to question myself. But it’s also times like these where strength I didn’t know I had is summoned. And that is what I’m trying to focus on. We are all stronger than we know. We can all deal with more than we believe we can. It will get better. And there is always pie.
I absolutely love pie. And my love for pie crust is even bigger than my love for pie. And my love for bourbon is even bigger than my love for pie crust. You see where I’m going with this? But I fully admit have never been very good at making a pretty pie crust. That’s why “free-form” pies or galettes are the perfect solution. There is absolutely no skill required in folding this crust over itself after filling it. And if you just call it “rustic” it looks like it is intentionally messy. Which it is.
I am the kind of person who loves crust more than the filling. And I don’t really want it to be sweet either. It is the perfect savory, buttery balance to the filling. This is a crust lovers pie. Each piece has tons of buttery crust and it is so over-the-top flaky. Just perfect.
Also, a cherry pitter is helpful. Does anyone have one of those? I don’t have one. So I cut each cherry in half and mangled them to get the pits out. Another alternative to a cherry pitter is to hammer a clean nail into a piece of wood and press the cherry down over the head of the nail to push the pit out. I remembered this trick after I manhandled the cherries…
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 TBSP water
- 3 cups pitted cherries, soaked in bourbon for at least 1 hour (optional)
- 2 TBSP flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Place the all-purpose flour in a bowl and cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse crumb.
- Stir in the egg and water gently just until combined.
- Press into a ball and then flatten out with your hand.
- Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- If you soaked the cherries in bourbon, drain very well and pat the cherries dry.
- Combine cherries, flour, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon and toss to combine.
- Flour a clean work surface and lay the dough on top of the floured surface.
- Flour the top of the dough and a rolling pin.
- Roll the dough out to ⅛'' thick. Having a perfect circle is not important. This is "free-form."
- Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and pile the cherries in the center of the dough.
- Fold the sides of the dough up, gently letting it crease upon itself.
- Bake at 375ºF for 40-45 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the crust is a deep golden brown.