Diana Parsell learned to make pies as a girl in southeastern Ohio, watching her grandmother pinch together the fat and the flour in a large stainless steel bowl. Her grandmother’s secret ingredient – and the cookbook that rocked Diana’s pie-making world – are still with her today.
Though the lattice top was what first hooked Diana Parsell on cherry pies, this is the recipe she’s been using for the last two decades. Photocopied from a recipe exchange cookbook called “The Pleasures of Cooking,” published in Greenwich, CT, Parsell says this recipe is adapted from a peach küchen submitted by Sue Zwick, a New Jersey cook who attributes it to her husband’s aunt Vivian Zwick from St. Louis, MO. Parsell has subbed cherries or berries for Zwick’s peaches.
To use frozen berries, thaw a 1-pound bag for about 30 minutes in a single layer on a high-sided cookie sheet or shallow pan. Drain the excess juice. Use a spatula to lift the thawed berries gently into the tart pan before adding the custard filling.
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Custard and Fruit
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fruit (berries, cherries, peaches, plums, etc.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place ingredients in a food processor bowl with a metal blade and pulse 4 to 6 seconds or until dough is crumbly. If it is too dry, add ice water a few drops at a time through feeder while pulsing, until the dough just sticks together.
Using an open palm and fingertips, press dough into a 9-inch tart pan, creating a uniform thickness along the bottom and sides. Bake 20 minutes until lightly browned.
In the bowl of a food processor, place sugar, egg yolks, sour cream, flour and salt and process 5 to 8 seconds. Scrape down sides and process another 10 seconds. Pour half the custard into baked crust.
Arrange fruit and top with remaining custard. Bake 40 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees or until custard is set and top is slightly browned. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan.