6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled
5 to 6 tablespoons cold water
4 cups pitted fresh tart cherries, or 6 1/2 cups frozen and pitted (will yield about 4 cups of fruit when thawed and drained)
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar (5 ounces), or more to taste
¼ cup tapioca
1. For the crust, sift the flour, sugar and salt into a medium bowl. Cut the shortening and butter into pieces; cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. Rub in the fat with your fingertips until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, lifting and crumbling to help aerate it.
2. Sprinkle the water over the mixture one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork. Continue mixing with the fork until the crumbs are moist enough to start sticking together. Do not use too much water or the dough will be sticky and the pastry tough.
3. Using your fingertips, press the dough lightly into a ball; wrap in plastic and chill until firm, a minimum of 30 minutes.
4. For the filling. Fresh cherries: combine with sugar and tapioca in a bowl. Taste; add more sugar, if you like. Frozen cherries: thaw, about 2 hours. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cherry juice. Combine cherries, sugar and tapioca. Add reserved juice, keeping in mind that fruit differs in water content so if the mixture looks runny, you may only need a few tablespoons.
5. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into 2 pieces, one slightly larger. Roll out larger piece to a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Invert a 9-inch glass pie dish onto the dough. Cut a strip around the edge of the dish, leaving a circle 1 1/2 inches larger than the dish. Transfer dough into the pie dish. Spoon in filling.
6. Roll out remaining dough; carefully place it on top of the pie dish, sealing the edges. Cut several slits in top crust.
7. Set pie on a baking sheet; bake until lightly browned and filling bubbles thickly, 50-60 minutes. While still hot, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons sugar over the top. Cool.
Per serving: 474 calories, 20 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 23 mg cholesterol, 70 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 93 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
Chocolate cherry cake squares
Prep: 35 minutes
Stand: 2 hours
Cook: 50-60 minutes