Cherry Pickin'

Pies aren't usually that interesting to photograph, especially when you have a plain crust on top that covers up all that deliciousness inside. So, I did a lattice top to create some interest and make this cherry pie a bit more photogenic. 

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Pie Dough:

2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups, unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon table salt

2 tablespoons sugar

12 tablespoons, unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled

1/4 cup vodka, preferably that's been in the freezer

1/4 cup cold water

For Filling:

2 red or black plums, pitted

2 pounds pitted cherries, halved

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons instant tapioca

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large whole egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

For Pie Dough: 

1. Process 1½ cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined. Add butter and shortening; process until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps. Add remaining 1 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up. 

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture and pulse until combined. Empty mixture into bowl. With a wooden spoon, gently mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 2 balls (1 slightly larger) and flatten each into a disk. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.

3. Remove larger disk from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer carefully to pie plate, pressing dough into the bowl.  Roll out second disk until about 10" in diameter. Using ruler make strips either 1/2" or 1" wide. Transfer to large plate. Refrigerate both until firm, about an hour.

For Filling:

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Process plums and 1/4 of halved cherries in food processor until smooth. Strain puree through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl. Discard solids. Stir remaining halved cherries, sugar, salt, lemon juice, zest, and tapioca. Let rest for 20 minutes.

2. Pour cherry mixture to pie plate. Bury a few butter pieces around fruit.

Assembling and Cooking:

1. Lay 4 - 1" strips (or 8 - 1/2" strips) across pie. Fold back every other strip, and lay a horizontal strip across the center of the pie. Unfold folded strips, then fold back remaining strips. Lay another horizontal strip across pie. Repeat folding and unfolding strips to weave a lattice pattern. Repeat on remaining side. 

2. Freeze pie for 15 minutes.  

3. Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes, until crust is golden. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble around the edges and crust is deep golden brown, 30 minutes longer.

4. Transfer pie to wire rack; let cool to room temperature so juices have time to thicken, 2 hours.