1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cans (16 ounces each) tart cherries
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 to 5 drops red food coloring, optional
Favorite pastry for two-crust pie
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Filling: In a 3-quart saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Drain the liquid from the canned cherries into the saucepan; set cherries aside. Stir the cherry liquid into the sugar mixture until no lumps remain. Heat the mixture to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently; continue cooking 1 minute or until mixture is thickened and slightly translucent. Remove from the heat, stir in the reserved tart cherries, dried cherries, almond extract and, if desired, food coloring.
Roll out bottom pastry between 2 sheets of lightly floured waxed paper. Place the pastry in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, letting the excess extend over the edge. Spoon in the cherry filling. Roll out top pastry and place over filling. Flute or crimp edges. Cut several slits in top crust to vent pie. Or, you can make a lattice top crust, whichever suits your family. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar onto the pastry strips. Place pie on the top rack in oven and place a baking sheet or piece of foil on lower rack to catch any drips.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and the filling bubbles. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes before cutting.
Makes 10 servings. From the Cherry Marketing Institute.