Fresh Fruit Pies

There’s nothing better than a fresh fruit pie. We’re just in the process of finishing an apricot pie, and despite the fruit’s tartness, I don’t think it can get any better than having a piece of it with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream.

While I love pies, the pie maker in our family is Therese. She makes the best pies. I think my favorite is her apple pie, although the ones she’s made with fresh rhubarb are pretty darned good, too.

We recently froze a few bags of rhubarb to use down the road, and we still have a few vacuumed-sealed bags of apples in the freezer that will have to be used before this fall’s crop is tapped.

I’m also looking forward to the new crop of cherries that should be making their way into the supermarket in the next couple of weeks. I’m hoping to talk Therese into making a cherry pie. That kind always has been a favorite, too.

With that in mind, here’s a recipe that I came across recently that just might do the trick.

Sweet Cherry Pie
¾ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling over the pie
¼ cup cornstarch
6 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier
Prepared flaky pie crust for 1 double-crust pie
1 egg
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the three-fourths cup sugar with the cornstarch. Stir in the cherries, coating completely, then stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur until evenly combined.
Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pie crust. Pile in the cherries, sprinkling over the cherries any additional sugar-cornstarch mixture that did not stick to the fruit.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg to form a wash.
Prepare the top crust, adding decorative cutouts or cutting lattice strips if desired. Cover the top of the pie with the prepared top crust, sealing the edges with the egg wash and cutting vents if needed.
Brush the top of the crust with the egg wash, and sprinkle over a light coating of sugar.
Place the pie in the oven and bake until the crust is a rich golden color and the filling is bubbly and thick, about 1 hour and 15 minutes; rotate the pie halfway through for even coloring, and tent if needed to prevent overcoloring.
Cool before serving.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional  analysis per servings: 569 calories, 7 grams protein, 79 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 25 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 65 milligrams cholesterol, 37 grams sugar, 449 milligrams sodium.

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