A classic cherry pie. Ideal when BC cherries are fresh, and summer nights are long.
For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons organic sugar
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 cup chilled lard
- 1/4 cup vodka, cold
- 1/4 cup cold water
For the Filling:
- 5 cups of pitted ripe cherries (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
- 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) organic sugar
- 3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Make the crust: process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and lard and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
- Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Place in covered container and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
- Once the dough has chilled, roll one of the dough-disks into a 13-inch round and fit it into a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish. Trim the overhanging dough to 3/4-inch all around. Refrigerate.
- Position a rack in the lower-third of the oven. Pre-heat to 425F.
- Make the filling: combine the cherries, sugar, tapioca flour, water, lemon juice, and almond extract in a bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pie dish from the fridge and pour the cherry mixture in, making the top as level as possible. Dot the top with the butter. Brush the over-hanging edge of the bottom crust with cold water.
- Cover and bake the pie: roll the second dough-disk into a 12-inch round and proceed to cut it into strips and form a lattice crust, if desired. If you just want to cover the pie with the whole sheet of pie dough and cut vents, that’s ok too. Seal the edges of the two crusts, trim, and crimp or flute. If using a closed-top crust, cut five steam vents.
- Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Slip a baking sheet beneath it, reduce the oven temperature to 350F, and bake until thick juices bubble through the top crust, 25-35 minutes more.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Store at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the fridge for up to a week.