Celebration Cherry-Bourbon “Manhattan” Pie and Exciting News

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I made a bold move a few months ago. You see, I sign off all my emails with a little reminder of who I am such as, “Natalie Rose – Producer” or “Natalie Rose – Olympic Gymnast” or “Natalie Rose – Bug Hunter”. You get the idea. Anyway, a few months ago I started signing my emails, “Natalie Rose – Freelance Food Writer”. I’m not really sure why. I have never written a piece that has been published by a professional publishing organization nor has anyone ever actually compensated me for performing actions related to this title. I just did it. Because it felt good. Because I wanted it to be true.

Well today my friends, it is.

About a week after I started using this digital moniker, an opportunity came knocking at my door to write (!!) about food (!!) for Latina Magazine’s new food-only website, The Latin Kitchen (!!). And now, after two months of waiting and countless re-writes and several test kitchens, The Latin Kitchen has launched. Oh, and guess what? You can read some of my writing here and here. Over the next few months there will actually be more to come as I make my way down to Guatemala and explore more, er, Latina-like things…so stay tuned!

And how better to celebrate than with pie? A cherry-bourbon pie to be exact. Or as Bob so aptly named, and “Manhattan” pie for the bourbon libation that is usually finished with a cherry. And I don’t know if it’s the bourbon in the pie or giddiness from my new-found profession, but this may well be the best pie I’ve ever had.

Don’t take my word for it though. Make it! Enjoy!

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Celebration Cherry-Bourbon “Manhattan” Pie

The Bon Appetit suggests using Trader Joe’s cherries, which are already pitted and ready to go! Active Time: 25 minutes, Inactive time: Up to 1.5 hours; Serves 8. Adapted from Bon Appetit August 2011.

Crumble

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup oat flour*

1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces

Pie

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 pie crust, homemade or store-bought (click for homemade crust recipe)

3 24.7-oz. jars (drained weight 12 oz.) pitted sour cherries in syrup, drained well (about 6 cups)

1/2  cup sugar

1/4 cup bourbon

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

Special Equipment:

A 9″ pie dish

Crumble

Whisk all ingredients except butter in a medium bowl until no lumps of sugar remain. Rub butter into oat mixture with your fingertips until it’s completely incorporated. If butter begins to soften while mixing, chill mixture to firm it up, about 15 minutes (cold butter ensures a flaky, tender crumble). Cover and chill crumble up to 5 days ahead.

Pie

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; lightly coat with nonstick spray (for easy clean-up in case the pie bubbles over) and set aside. Line pie dish with crust and crimp edges decoratively. Place pie dish on prepared baking sheet.

Combine cherries and remaining 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix until cherries are coated and mixture is evenly distributed.

Pour cherries into pie crust and top evenly with crumble. Bake until pie crust and center of crumble are deep golden brown and juices from cherries are bubbling and look thickened, 1 1/4–1 1/2 hours. At about the 40 minute mark, you will need to cover the edges of the crust with tin foil to prevent them from burning.  (The juices will begin to ooze out of crust and onto foil-lined sheet.) Let pie cool for at least 4 hours at room temperature to allow filling to set properly. (Cutting into the pie before it’s set will result in a runny filling). Cover and let stand up to 1 day at room temperature.

* Blend 1/3 cup oats in a food processor until oats are very fine.

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