Okay - finally. Here is the cherry pie filling recipe that I used. There's a link at the bottom to the piecrust recipe, too.
- Canned Cherries (not the pie filling stuff, just cherries in juice/water) 16 oz
- Drained cherry juice 6 oz
- Cold Water 2 oz
- Cornstarch 1 oz
- Sugar 7 oz
- Salt .25 oz
- Lemon Juice .33 oz
- Almond Extract To Taste
- Butter .75 oz
1. Combine cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry.
2. In saucepan, bring juice to a hard boil (should be bubbling rapidly in the middle and the sides, not just the sides).
3. Add cornstarch slurry to juice, a little at a time while whisking vigorously. You want to make sure that there are no cornstarch lumps. You may not use all the cornstarch mixture but you want the syrup to be very thick, as it will thin out again once the sugar is added.
4. Add sugar and salt, stir until dissolved.
5. Add cherries and boil briefly. Mixture should continue to thicken. If you're worried that the cherries will become too soft, you can skip this step and just pour the finished syrup mixture over the cherries.
6. Add almond extract and lemon juice.
7. Cool mixture to room temperature. If filling is still hot, the bottom crust will become soggy. Add butter right before putting filling in pie tin.
8. Here is the recipe for the crust, as promised: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Butter-Flaky-Pie-Crust/Detail.aspx?prop31=1 I put a nice egg wash on mine (just a beaten egg, nothing fancy) for shine and to help it brown. I also sprinkled some swedish sugar on top for crunch.
9. Bake at 425F until crust is nicely browned and filling bubbles slightly in middle - approximately 35-40 minutes but it really depends on your oven. Rotate halfway through cooking.