This year's American pie is sour cherry. Diane Cordial baked the winning Ohio sour cherry pie that won the American Pie Celebration contest recently in New Orleans and took home a silver rolling pin, $7,000 worth of kitchen equipment and $3,000 in cash.
Her pie, a filling of tart red cherries wrapped in a double crust, included a pastry map of Ohio inserted into the top crust, with a cherry marking Columbus -- the state capital. Ms. Cordial, 50, a registered nurse and mother of four from Powell, Ohio, has been baking pies for 40 years.
Her pie topped entries from 49 other contestants, one pie from each state of the union. The annual contest is sponsored by Crisco in partnership with Good Housekeeping magazine. The contestants got to the finals by winning state fair competitions.
Ohio sour cherry pie
Makes 1 pie.
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 bag (20 ounces) frozen dry pack pitted red tart cherries (4 cups)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 or 2 drops red food color (optional)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Reserved pastry pancake
1 maraschino cherry
For filling: Combine sugar and cornstarch in heavy, medium saucepan. Stir in cherries gently. Cook and stir gently on medium or medium-high heat about 10 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened and clear. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, almond extract, butter and red food color, if used. Cool for 1 hour.
For crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening using pastry blender or 2 knives until all flour is blended to form pea-size chunks. Combine water, egg and vinegar in a small bowl. Sprinkle over flour mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with fork until dough forms a ball. (You may not use all of the liquid.) Divide dough in thirds. Press between hands to form 3 5- to 6-inch pancakes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Flour rolling surface and rolling pin. Roll dough for bottom crust into circle. Trim 1 inch larger than upside-down 9-inch pie plate. Loosen dough carefully. Fold into quarters. Unfold. Press into pie plate. Trim edge even with pie plate. Moisten pastry edge with water. Spoon filling into unbaked pie shell.
Roll top crust the same as bottom. Lift onto unfilled pie. Trim 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold top edge under bottom crust. Flute with fingers or fork.
For glaze: Brush crust with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool until barely warm or room temperature before serving.
For decoration, roll third pancake the same as the bottom crust. Cut into decoration of your choice. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool.