Fresh Cherry Pie

For the Pie Crust: – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes – 1/4 cup granulated sugar – 1/2 teaspoon salt – 1/2 cup ice water

For the Cherry Filling: – 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved – 1 cup granulated sugar – 1/4 cup cornstarch – 1/4 teaspoon almond extract – 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Make the Pie Crust: – In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. – Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Gradually add the ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Prepare the Cherry Filling: – In a large bowl, combine the pitted and halved cherries with sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, and lemon juice. Toss until the cherries are well coated. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes to allow the juices to release.

Assemble the Pie: – Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). – Roll out one of the chilled pie crust disks on a lightly floured surface to fit a 9-inch pie dish. Place the rolled-out crust into the pie dish.

– Pour the cherry filling into the pie crust. – Roll out the second pie crust and place it over the cherry filling. Trim the excess dough and crimp the edges to seal the pie.

Bake the Pie: – Make a few small slits on the top crust to allow steam to escape. – Optional: brush the top crust with a little milk or egg wash for a golden finish.

– Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. – Allow the pie to cool for a few hours before slicing to let the filling set.