This recipe is based on one for cherry lattice pie that cookbook author and baking instructor Rose Levy Beranbaum made for The Washington Post's Chef on Call column in July 2008. This version calls for sweet rather than sour cherries (Beranbaum prefers sour, but sweet are more readily available) and includes apricots and figs. Feel free to use all cherries or any combination of fruit you prefer to make 4 cups, total.
Moreover, this pie is baked not in an oven, but on a grill to which wood chips are added, thus imbuing the pie with a hint of smokiness.
Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Make Ahead: Pit the cherries the day before. Prepare the pie crust the day before. Bake the pie several hours ahead of time or even the day before. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 1 pound sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted (2 cups)
- 5 ounces black mission figs, trimmed and cut lengthwise into quarters (1 generous cup)
- 2 large (7 ounces) apricots, pitted and cut into 6 equal wedges each (1 generous cup)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Freshly squeezed juice and zest from 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust (see related recipe)
- Flour, for dusting
Combine the cherries, figs, apricots, sugar, lemon juice and zest, cornstarch and almond extract in a large bowl; stir to mix well. Let sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
Prepare the pie crust (a 9-inch double crust) and refrigerate.
Twenty-five minutes before you plan to bake, prepare the grill for indirect grilling. If using charcoal, light the charcoal in a chimney starter and let the briquettes burn until the flames subside and a light layer of ash covers the briquettes (about 20 to 25 minutes). Open the grill's bottom vents. Dump the lighted coals into 2 mounds (or, preferably, into 2 half-moon-shaped briquette baskets) on opposite sides of the grill. (If using gas, with a two-burner grill, set one burner to medium-low and leave the other unlit; with three or more burners, set the outside or front and rear burners to medium-low and leave the center burners unlit. Soak 1/2 cup of wood chips, preferably hickory, in water for 30 minutes.
Remove the pie plate with the (unbaked) bottom crust from the refrigerator; discard the plastic wrap.
Spoon the fruit and its juices into the bottom pie crust. Ten minutes before assembling the pie, remove the second disk of pie crust dough from the refrigerator.
Cover the work surface with a large pastry cloth if you have one, and lightly dust with flour, or dust a clean work surface generously with flour. Cover a rolling pin, preferably chilled or cool, with a cloth cover, if desired, and roll the dough to an oval about 10 1/2 by 8 inches wide and about 1/16th inch thick. (Alternatively, roll the dough between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap.) The dough should be smooth and cool; handle it as little as possible.
Use a ruler (preferably transparent) and a fluted pastry wheel to cut the dough oval into 10 strips that are 3/4 inch wide. Arrange half of the strips evenly over the cherry filling. Gently fold back every other strip past the centerpoint of the pie and then place a strip on top that runs perpendicular. Reposition the strips so that they lie flat on top of the perpendicular strip. Working in the same direction, gently fold back the strips that were not folded back the first time. Lay a second perpendicualr strip on top and unfurl the folded-back strips. Repeat with a third perpendicular strip, folding back the strips that were folded back the first time.
Apply the remaining 2 strips to the other side of the pie, starting toward the center and working toward the edge. Remember to alternate strips that are folded back so that the strips form a woven pattern. Use sharp kitchen scissors to trim the strips to a 1/2-inch overhang, if necessary. Use water to moisten the edge of the bottom crust where it contacts each strip, then tuck the overhang under the bottom crust edge, pressing down to seal it.
Crimp the edges in a decorative fashion.
Create a protective shield for the edge of the pie crust (to prevent overbrowning) by lightly crimping a ring of aluminum foil over it. (Or remove the bottom from a fluted two-piece 10 1/2 inch tart pan and use the inverted fluted ring as a shield.)
Place a piece of foil on the grill rack in the area that is not directly above the briquettes or the lighted burner. Place the pie on top of the foil. Place half of the soaked wood chips atop each pile of hot briquettes, or follow the manufacturer's directions for using wood chips with your gas grill. Cover the grill, vents fully open. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (the internal temperature of the grill should be between 350 and 400 degrees), until the juices bubble thickly through the lattice of the pie crust. Have ready a piece of foil large enough to cover the pie. Open the grill lid after 30 minutes (not before); if the lattice is becoming too dark, cover it loosely with the foil and return the lid to the grill as quickly as you can.
When the pie is done, transfer it to a wire rack for at least 3 hours to cool completely before cutting.
From Real Entertaining columnist David Hagedorn, based on a recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.