Making pie is one of those things that never changes. It’s always the same; cold fats meet soft flour, giving way to a dough that just holds together. Fresh fruit warms in the oven, softening slightly. You can count on pie. It’s predictable. Pie is one of those things that I turn to when things don’t seem to make sense. I’ve been away from my blog for a few weeks, and in that time, I needed pie. I needed to use my hands to bring the dough together, to create something predictable.
Cherries and rye crust are maybe made for each other. The cherries are earthy and sweet, and the rye crust is soft and flaky, nutty with a little tang. Together they are perfect. I think a galette with ragged edges is the way to go here. A pie is too formal–a galette is casual. It doesn’t need a pan, just a cookie sheet. Also, it doesn’t need a cherry pitter, despite what you might have heard.
I totally thought I came up with this idea, but lots of people in the internet world have done it before. I used a beer bottle, placed each cherry on the top of the bottle, stem facing up, then pressed a plastic straw straight down, through the cherry. It catches the pit, and leaves the rest of the cherry whole. You’re left with a beer bottle full of cherry pits (which you can’t recycle, sadly).
Aside from my original (not original) cherry pitting idea, I think I have finally perfected my pie crust recipe. It’s a butter/crisco crust, but there is more butter than crisco, but it’s easier to handle than an all-butter crust. It holds a crimped edge, makes a lattice that’s easy to handle, and still bakes up into a soft, buttery, flaky crust. Add an egg wash and sprinkle it with raw sugar, and you’re in business.
For the crust: (makes a double crust, halve it for this recipe)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1 cup butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup crisco, cold
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
5-7 tablespoons ice water
Whisk together the flours and salt. Then, using your fingers, break up the butter and crisco into the flour. Work it gently until the largest pieces are no bigger than a pea, and the smaller ones are the size of oat flakes. Pour in 5 tablespoons of the ice water, and use a fork to combine the water into the dough. If needed, add the extra 2 tablespoons. The dough should just hold together if squeezed into a ball.
Divide the dough into two equal rounds, wrap each one in saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
For the filling:
4 cups cherries, pitted but still whole
4 tablespoons cornsarch
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Toss everything with the fruit and let the fruit sit for an hour or so to release some of their juices.
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon warm water
2 tablespoons sugar in the raw
Whisk the yolk and water together to make the egg wash, brush it on and then sprinkle the crust with the sugar
To assemble the galette:
Roll out the chilled dough until it’s about ten inches and mostly round. Place it on a cookie sheet, the edges overlapping. Pour the fruit mixture into the middle of the dough round, then fold the edges up, holding the fruit inside. Brush the crust with the egg wash and then sprinkle the sugar on top.
Bake the galette at 375 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, or until the fruit is jammy and bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Let the galette cool completely, then slice and serve with vanilla bean ice cream.