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Cheery Cherry Almond Pie

From the kitchen of WGNV's Kathy Kexel

Pastry:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup ground almonds
¾ cup shortening (or ½ butter; ½ lard)
1/3 cup ice water

Sift flour and stir in almonds.  With pastry blender, knives, or food processer, cut together flour mixture and shortening.  Add ice water, a little at a time until a pliable dough is formed.  Divide dough in half, wrap and refrigerate at least ½ hour.

Filling:
6 cups fresh or frozen and thawed sour pie cherries
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
¼ cup minute tapioca
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Combine cherries, sugar, extract and tapioca.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Roll out ½ pie crust and line a 10 inch pie plate.  Roll out other half and cut into strips for lattice top (or use one of those fancy pie crust cutters).
Fill crust with cherry mixture.  Dot with butter.  Cover with top crust.  Bake 45 – 50 minutes or until bubbly.  Cool until juices set and serve plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.
 

Kathy's notes: You can make a quick and easy version that is almost as good by using prepared pie crusts...I roll out the bottom one just a bit to make it bigger so it will fit in a 10" pie plate.  Sprinkle ground almonds across the crust and press them into the dough.  Cut the second crust into strips for lattice top.  Use two cans of cherry pie filling, adding almond extract.  Eliminate tapioca and butter.

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