This pie is simple, creamy, tart and sweet. Everything a pie should be. You get the tart that cherry pies are known for, but it finishes off with a sweet kick, sure to please! I recently entered this pie into a contest and won!! I tried different styles, and put my own spin on it.. Try it once, and it is sure to become a family favorite.. Bring in the kids to make the top crust!!
Drain the cans of cherry's into a large sauce pot. Also with the frozen cherry's defrost them, and add any juice you get to the other cherry juice in the pot. ((Put the cherries in a large bowl, set aside.)) Then Add the flour, salt and sugar to the juice in the pot. Bring up to a boil slowly, your sauce will thicken very fast, so don't walk away!! Stir constantly with a wire wisk until all flour clumps are dissolved, once it gets thicker; use a wooden spoon. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat.
When it starts to thicken, add the butter, vanilla, and food coloring; (to your liking) Stir until smooth. Add the punch, this will add a little more tang then sweet, and loosen up the filling if it is too thick. :) Trust me, it is a fantastic addition to the filling. It will keep your family guessing!
So the cherries won't lose their shape or get crushed, gently pour over the filling cherries. Fold very gently a few times until it is mixed. In order for it to set right, you need to refridgerate for a few hours, at least one!
While the filling is cooling, start your crusts. For the bottom, grease your pan, add the crust, press to bottom and sides. To make the edges, Just pinch with your fingers, and use the width of your finger to space. Set aside when finished.
For the top crust. Take the other crust and unfold. Lightly flour the counter top, roll out and grab your favorite cookie cutter or knife to make your shapes. For this one, I used stars. But I have also used hearts that were adorable! Make your own design. This creates a top crust but, it is not traditional and fun for the kids.
Once the filling is cool, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour gently into the pie pan, spread out the filling into an even level, with your shapes place your design on the top of your pie. Once placed, beat an egg very well. With a pastry brush, brush the egg onto the sides and on the top of your designs. Most people use a egg white, but I think that the whole egg creates a shiny brown coating. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, and reduce heat to 350 for another 15 minutes.. With your design instead of the traditional layer, it will bubble, but NOT run out and ruin your oven!!
Take out and cool for about 15 mins to serve warm! Add Whip Cream or Vanilla bean ice cream for a cool addition to the tarty goodness!
**TIP** After the first 15 minutes; you may want to place foil around the edges to prevent buring.