5 cups pitted & halved tart cherries
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter (I popped mine in the freezer for 1/2 hour)
1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
2. Cut in the shortening until it’s in lumps the size of small peas.
3. Dice the butter into 1/2″ pieces, and cut into the mixture until you have flakes.
4. Add the water, two tablespoons at a time, mixing with a fork as you sprinkle the water into the dough.
5. When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a piece of wax or parchment paper.
6. Fold the dough over on itself three or four times to bring it together, then divide it in half and pat it into two disks 3/4″ thick. One for the bottom of the pie and one for the top.
7. Roll the disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly, without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges later. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out.
8. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan that’s at least 2 inches deep.
9. Spoon the filling into the pan.
10. Roll out the remaining pastry to an 11″ circle. Cut decorative vent holes, if desired. Carefully place the pastry over the cherry mixture.
11. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
12. Roll the overhanging bottom crust up and over the top crust, pinching to seal the two.
13. Flute the edges of the pie.
14. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 425°F, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 40 minutes more, until you see the filling bubbling inside the pie. Check the pie after half an hour of baking time, and cover the edges with foil or a pie shield to keep them from browning too quickly.