East Meets West Cherry Pie
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Preparation Time: 30
  • Crust
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled leaf lard or shortening
  • ¼ cup unsalted cold butter
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons chilled ginger-ale
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Filling
  • 3 (24 oz) jars pitted sour cherries (6 cups)
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1/4-teaspoon Asian 5 spice powder
  • Crumble
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3 packed cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4-teaspoon Asian 5 spice powder
  • 1/3 cup butter
  1. For Crust: blend flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in lard or shortening and butter with a pastry blender until mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. With a fork, stir in just enough ginger-ale until dough holds together. Divide dough into 2 disks, one slightly larger than the other, wrap and chill while preparing filling and crumble.
  2. For Filling: Drain liquid from cherries reserving ¼ cup. Place cherries in large mixing bowl. Add almond extract to reserved cherry liquid; pour over cherries in bowl. Mix sugar, cornstarch and 5 spice powder; blend well. Sprinkle sugar mixture over cherries and gently fold to combine; set aside.
  3. For Crumble: in a medium bowl, mix oats, panko, almonds, brown sugar, flour and 5 spice powder; cut in butter till mixture forms coarse crumbs.
  4. Heat oven to 500F. On lightly floured board roll out larger disk of dough to fit a 9-inch pie dish; ease crust into pie dish. Pour cherry filling into crust. Sprinkle crumble evenly over cherries. Roll out remaining dough and cut into strips. Weave strips over top of pie forming a lattice. Press ends of strips into crust rim. Fold bottom pastry over strips; seal and crimp edge. Brush the lattice crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet. Place pie in oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425F. Bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until filling bubbles and crust is golden brown. Cool. Garnish with a few fresh cherries, if desired.
An American cherry pie with an Asian twist brings me home to that big old climbing tree in the neighbor's yard where we picked fresh cherries and played the day away outside and to my dad who adored Asian cuisine, but could only get it on a Friday evening when he treated mom and us 5 kids to a night out at the local Chinese restaurant. The fusion of my memories created one fragrant and flavorful pie with a variety of delicious textures.