To make a woven lattice top for pies and cobblers:
Roll the pastry into the desired shape (round for the sour cherry pie; rectangle for the quilted sour cherry cobbler) slightly larger than the size of the pan. Cut strips (3/4-inch wide for pie, 1-inch or slightly wider for cobbler) using a fluted or straight-edge pastry wheel, a pastry scraper or a sharp knife.
Arrange a layer of pastry strips parallel to one another on top of the fruit filling, spacing them about 3/4 inch apart. Gently fold every other pastry strip a little more than halfway back over itself. Place another pastry strip across the center of the filling, perpendicular to the other strips. Unfold the strips so they lie over the center strip. Now fold back the strips that weren't folded before. Place another pastry strip perpendicular to the folded strips, spacing it about 3/4 inch from the other strip, and unfold the folded strips back over it. Continue weaving, folding back alternate strips with each cross-strip added, until one side of the pie or cobbler is completely woven. Then weave the opposite side using the remaining strips.
For a round pie, trim the strips, leaving a slight (1/2-inch to 1-inch) overhang at the edge of the pie. Fold the trimmed strips under the bottom crust and press together; flute or crimp the edge.
For a rectangular cobbler, trim the lattice strips so that they are flush with the edge of the baking dish.
Sour Cherry Pie
One 9-inch pie
I am a cherry pie purist. I use a minimum of ingredients because I want my pie to taste like cherries. I use as little flour as possible to thicken the filling because I want it to be juicy, not starchy like canned pie filling. If the pie is still very juicy once it has cooled, simply pour out a bit of the liquid.
Pie crust for double-crust pie (store-bought or homemade), chilled
1/4 cup flour, plus additional for work surface
11/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 quarts (6 to 7 cups) fresh sour cherries, carefully washed, stemmed and pitted (may substitute sour cherries jarred in juice, drained and patted dry)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Prick the bottom and sides of 1 of the pie crusts with a fork. Refrigerate both pie crusts.
In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Add the lemon juice and combine. Add the cherries and toss gently to combine, preferably with your hands. Set aside.
Gently scrape the filling into the crust that was pricked with a fork. Scatter the butter pieces evenly over the cherry filling. Place the remaining pastry circle on a lightly floured work surface. Using a sharp knife, cut it into 3/4-inch wide strips. Arrange the strips over the filling in a lattice pattern (described earlier).
Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes longer, or until the filling is bubbling and thickened and the crust is golden. If needed, cover with foil to prevent overbrowning. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Per serving (based on 8): 345 calories, 2 gm protein, 67 gm carbohydrates, 9 gm fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 145 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber
Cherry Cobbler With Sweet Cream Biscuit Dough
This delicate biscuit dough should be baked soon after it is made, so pit the cherries and make the filling before mixing the dough.
Adapted from "Great Pies & Tarts" by Carole Walter (Clarkson Potter, 1998):
For the filling:
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 quarts (about 9 cups) fresh sour cherries, carefully washed, stemmed and pitted (may substitute sour cherries jarred in juice, drained and patted dry)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the dough:
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
4 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
For the filling: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and allspice. Add the lemon juice and combine. Place the cherries in a large bowl, add the sugar mixture and toss gently to combine, preferably using your hands. Transfer the mixture to the buttered baking dish, scatter the butter evenly over the filling and set aside while you make the biscuit dough.
For the biscuit dough: In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and cream. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor or in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and zest. Add the butter and pulse if using a processor or use a pastry mixer or use 2 knives held crisscross fashion to cut the mixture into fine crumbs. Add the cream mixture and pulse if using a processor, or use a fork to mix just until a ball of dough begins to form. Do not overprocess.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, pat it together to form a clump and then knead it briefly, 4 or 5 times, just until the surface is smooth. Flatten the dough slightly and, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 11-by-18-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife or a pastry scraper, cut the pastry lengthwise into 7 strips. Cut 3 of these strips in half crosswise. You should have 4 strips that are 18 inches long and 6 strips that are 9 inches long.
Carefully lift the 4 long strips and place them lengthwise over the filling at even intervals. Beginning at 1 corner with 1 of the short strips, arrange the strips over the filling in a lattice pattern (described earlier).
Bake the cobbler for 30 to 35 minutes, until the juices are bubbly and the top is puffed and golden brown. May need to cover with foil to prevent overbrowning. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Per serving (based on 12): 364 calories, 4 gm protein, 54 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 49 mg cholesterol, 10 gm saturated fat, 232 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber