Sour Cherry Pie with Bacon Crumb Crust
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Recipe type: Pie! Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: One 9-inch deep-dish pie or one 11-inch tart
 
Cherries, bacon and pie. A mixture not to be outdone, and not to be passed over. Blend the sour cherries you worked so hard for last summer, picking and pitting, with the hints of the savory bacon you love so well in the crust, and the almonds you crave; eat it with your loved ones around a hot fire this winter!
Ingredients
  • For the bacon crust:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbs. chilled bacon, cut into ⅛-inch pieces (I like to add more than this, but don't go overboard, or else you will only get the bacon taste, and you really just want a hint of bacon in the crust)
  • 5 ounces unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup ice water
  • For the cherry filling:
  • 5 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted (again, I like to add more than this-just be careful! You don't want to have too much to fit in the crust.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2½ Tbs. cornstarch
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • Zest and juice of one lemon (or the zest of two!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • For the almond crumb topping:
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped almonds (or walnuts, or pecans)
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • (You can add a little bit of almond extract here too and it will be delicious, but not much-it's strong.)
  • Heavy cream or ice cream, for serving (optional).
Instructions
  1. Make the pie crust:
  2. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Add the bacon and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles big bread crumbs.
  3. Sprinkle half of the water over the mixture and pulse 5 or 6 times, pulling the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle on the remaining water and pulse again 5 or 6 times, briefly, just until dough pulls together into a ball.
  4. Put the dough on a large flour-dusted piece of waxed paper and flatten it into a disk about 1 inch thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  5. Make the filling:
  6. Combine the cherries and ½ cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Set aside 10 minutes to macerate. Mix the remaining ½ cup sugar, the cornstarch, and the salt in a small bowl and stir the mixture into the cherries. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract, and set aside.
  7. Make the almond crumb topping:
  8. Combine the flour, sugar, almonds, and salt in a food processor and and pulse 7 times to blend well. With the motor running, drizzle in the melted butter--this should take 8 pulses, max. The topping should look like sandy gravel, not dough. Set aside.
  9. Assemble the Pie:
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  11. Lightly flour a 2-foot piece of waxed paper. Place the chilled pastry in the center of the paper, dust it lightly with flour, then roll it into a 12-inch circle (French rolling pins are the best!). Turn it over an 11-inch tart pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, center it, and peel off the paper. Tuck the pastry into the pan, pressing it into the fluted rim without stretching it. Trim the overhang so the pastry is flush with the top of the rim. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour in the cherry filling, then sprinkle the almond crumb topping evenly over the pie.
  13. Place the tart on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and put it in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, until bubbling all over.
  14. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving, or you will be having soup with a crumble crust.
  15. Slice and serve with softly whipped unsweetened cream, homemade whipped cream, or ice cream, if desired.
Recipe by Second Breakfast at http://secondbreakfast.us/the-best-things-come-with-bacon-sour-cherry-pie-with-bacon-crumb-crust/