Even if you’ve never watched an episode of Twin Peaks, you probably know two things: that Laura Palmer is found murdered in the pilot, and that Agent Dale Cooper really enjoys his coffee and cherry pie. So when I started planning the menu for our Twin Peaks Dinner Party, dessert wasn’t even in question!
The only problem? No matter how many times I’ve watched Waitress (PS go watch that movie if you haven’t already!), I’m not that great at making pie. Cookies? Yes. Cake? YES (I made my own wedding cake, for crying out loud). But pie? Not my forte.
Therefore I felt perfectly comfortable purchasing some superior, all-butter pie crust from Grand Central Bakery, and tweaked a Food Network recipe calling for frozen cherries to create a foolproof recipe. And I think I did it!
My major changes were as follows: I had to reduce the sugar, since I couldn’t find frozen tart cherries, and I increased the fruit to make a more generous pie.
While conducting my research (er, watching Twin Peaks), I was very relieved to see the Double R Diner’s pie had a slashed, solid top crust rather than a lattice crust. Not only did it make this even easier, but there was more flaky, tender crust to eat!
Twin Peaks Cherry Pie Recipe (Adapted From Food Network)
Serves 12 (smaller pieces)
2 lb frozen sweet cherries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pie crust for a two-crust pie
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
Place the cherries in a medium saucepan and place, covered, over medium heat. After the cherries yield their juices, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Then add the almond extract and mix.
Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Important: do not overcook, or the filling will get gummy. The thickened texture of the juices should be like cold maple syrup.
Remove the filling from the heat and let cool. If it’s too thick, add a little water. Too thin, add a little more cornstarch.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare your crust, dividing in half if needed and rolling each half into a 12″ circle (mine was pre-rolled and super easy). Lay the bottom crust in the pan. Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust, and dot with butter.
Moisten the edge of the bottom crust with water, and place the top crust over your filling. Fold it under the bottom crust, pinching everything together. I then took a pair of scissors and cut through the edge of the crust about 1/2″ at an angle (see picture) to seal.
Make several slits in the middle of the crust for steam to escape, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 50 minutes, until crust is nicely browned. If the edges start to get too brown, cover with a foil ring. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperate, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a “damn fine cup of coffee.” Eat while watching your favorite episode of Twin Peaks.