Almond Cherry Pie

I made this recipe up, but the inspiration came from a cherry almond tart I used to make while working at Jimella’s Market Cafe on the Long Beach Peninsula. Jimella Lucas and Nancy Main were the original chefs to use LOCAL, SEASONAL, and SUSTAINABLE foods as the focal point of their menu since back around 1980. Their work caught the attention of James Beard who praised them very publicly leading the foodies of the world to take notice. These two amazing women ran the renown Ark restaurant for some 25 years, they cooked for President Clinton, and flew around the world making appearances and cooking for the rich and famous, in a pre-Food Network era they were culinary stars. ¬†They have several cookbooks out. I was very honored to work for them for almost a year as a rather pathetic excuse for a baker, while their beloved baker and now chef Katie was on maternity leave. Jimella passed away on Nov. 30, 2013, she was an amazing lady.(http://blogs.seattletimes.com/allyoucaneat/2013/12/03/pioneering-peninsula-chef-jimella-lucas-left-a-culinary-legacy/)

  • Double pie crust
  • 8 oz real almond paste (I used a small can of Solo Almond Paste)
  • 2 lbs cherries, (pitted) fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. corn starch
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 T. milk

Directions

Prepare pie crust, roll out half and line pie pan.

Roll out almond paste between two sheet of waxed paper until 1/4 inch thick. Trim to fit in bottom of pie crust. 

In a large bowl toss cherries with lemon juice and vanilla.

In a small bowl mix sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, and orange rind. Pour over cherries and toss until covered.

Pour cherries into pie pan.

Add top crust, seal and flute edges, dot with butter. Brush with milk. Cut a few vents in the top.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, lower temperature to 375 and bake another 30 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.

Cool for several hours before serving.

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