Pie is one of the great foods in the universe, and it's overtaking cupcakes and macarons as the sweet food of the moment. (Sliders of all varieties and banh mi seem to have jointly claimed the savory category.)
Whereas culinary trends usually start at the east and west coasts and then find their way to the center, in this instance it's going in reverse. Pie - comfort food classic that it is - is working its magic upon those who disparage the middle of the country as a hotbed of hotdishes. The cool kids are all jumping on the bandwagon, but they're actually behind the times. Pie has never lost its popularity here in the Midwest, but those on the farthest edges now seem to have been won over by its charm. That's okay - the pie clique welcomes everyone.
This pie is a tribute to Michigan, featuring two of my state's finest fruits. It's sweet, it's tart, it's bright, it's intense, it's fabulous. Pie can't solve all of life's problems, but it can certainly provide a great deal of joy!
Cherry Blueberry Pie
Crust (slightly adapted from a recipe on Epicurious.com):
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup shortening, softened, cut into 1/2" pieces
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and shortening, mixing with a fork until the mixture resembles meal. Add 5 tablespoons ice water, mixing until the dough starts to adhere and form a ball, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough together; divide into 2 pieces, one a bit larger than the other. Form each piece into ball; flatten into disks and wrap in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes.
3 cups pitted tart cherries
2 cups blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients; mix well.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Roll out the larger piece of dough on a floured countertop to about 14" in diameter; gently fold in half and then in half again to help in transporting the crust, place it into a 9" glass pie pan, then unfold. Pour the filling into the crust.
Roll out the remaining piece of dough to about a 12" diameter. Cut into 3/4" strips, and weave into a lattice top over the filling.
(Lay down 5 strips, then fold back two; lay a perpendicular strip, then fold all of the vertical strips back down. Fold back the alternate three strips; lay down a perpendicular strip, then fold all of the vertical strips back down again. Repeat until you have 4 perpendicular strips lying across the original five, all woven together.)
Trim excess dough, then use a fork to press crusts together around the edge of the pie.
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Brush half-and-half over the top of the pie, then sprinkle with sugar.
Place pie onto a larger baking sheet to catch drips, then bake for 55-60 minutes until top is golden and filling is bubbly.
Remove to a rack and let cool. Serves 8-12, depending upon generosity of slices.