Fine Cooking has a whole line up of these marvelous crowd-pleasing (and crowd-filling!) pies…so I picked this one based on the fruit that was easiest (and most reasonably priced) at the time of making. I made the pastry a couple of days ahead, then par-cooked the bottom crust early in the morning, then made the pie in the afternoon and this kind of schedule is exactly how I love to do things when getting ready for a crowd. I strongly urge you to not be intimidated! after all, the effort is always worth it for pie!
Sweet Cherry Sheet Pan Pie
Sheet Pan Pie Crust – this recipe makes 1 crust (you need 2 for this pie), but I find it easiest to make them separately
3 c. flour AND 1 T. sugar AND 1 t. salt
20 T. (10 oz.) cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 c. ice water + more as needed
In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt to combine, about 10 seconds, then add the butter and pulse until it is about the size of large peas, about 30 seconds.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, make a well in the center, add the water, and toss with a fork to combine. Knead the dough a few times, and continue adding water until it comes together (if it’s dry and cracking, it needs more water.) Form the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes. I made this pastry (x 2) a couple of days ahead.
To par-baked your crust, heat the oven to 425°F and line a 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough slightly larger than the size of the baking sheet, about 15×20 inches. Roll the dough onto a rolling pin, and gently unfurl it onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly press the dough into the bottom and corners of the pan; it should come up the sides and just over the edge of the pan. Trim away any excess dough. Prick the base of the dough all over with a fork, and then chill the pan for about 30 minutes.
Place a piece of foil over the dough, and lay another large rimmed baking sheet on top. Bake the crust until the edges appear firm and set, and the dough becomes light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the top pan and the foil, and return the pan to the oven until the dough appears dry, 2 to 3 minutes more. Cool completely before adding the filling. I baked mine in the morning and let it sit for a few hours until I was ready to finish the pie.
Sweet Cherry Sheet Pan Pie
3 1/2 lbs. fresh cherries, pitted
1/2 c. sugar AND 1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 t. lemon zest AND 2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 recipes of Sheet Pan Pie Crust, 1 par-cooked (as above)
2 T. heavy cream AND 1 egg for a wash (optional) + demerara sugar for sprinkling
Put all of your pitted cherries into a large bowl and in a separate small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the sugar mix, zest, lemon juice and vanilla to the cherries and combine well.
Roll out your remaining uncooked pastry dough into a rectangle slightly larger than the size of the baking sheet, about 15×20 inches, and then using a pastry wheel, cut the dough lengthwise into 3/4-inch strips.
Spoon the cherry mix into your cooled par-baked crust and spread into an even layer – this amount should fit almost perfectly with the cherries in a single layer.
Arrange the strips of dough diagonally in a lattice pattern over the filling – for step-by-step instructions refer back to Fine Cooking.
Once the lattice is in place, use a titch of water on your fingertips to secure the raw dough to the baked dough around all of the edges. If you decide on a wash, whisk together the cream and egg, brush this mix over all visible pastry, and then sprinkle on the demerara sugar (as you can see in the photo, I completely forgot the wash).
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes.
Allow the pie to rest for about a half hour before serving – and then definitely top with vanilla ice cream! – enjoy!