- Prepare the Cherries: thaw and drain 5 cups of frozen cherries and keep the cherry juice that melts off. This means letting them thaw naturally in the fridge for a couple of days with a colander and a bowl underneath.
- Prepare 2 Pie Crusts: one for the bottom of the pie pan and one for the top of the pie. One of my favorite crust recipes is from Tartine.
- Make the Sauce: take 2 cups of the drained cherry juice and 3 cups of sugar and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then in a jar mix 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Add to the cherry juice/sugar mixture and bring to a boil and boil until clear--- probably a minute or so. Turn off heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
- Bottom Crust: Take one crust and put in the bottom of your pie pan. I do NOT suggest a pie pan with holes in the bottom (creates a crisper crust) because of the juiciness of this pie. Press the crust in the to pan gently so there are no pockets of air. Leave at least 1 inch over the side of the pan.
- Filling: Fill the bottom crust with cherries up to 1/4 inch from the top of the pie plate edge - slightly mounded in the center if you have enough cherries. Do not pack, just scoop in and fill liberally. Then, pour some of the sugar/juice/cornstarch mixture (now thick) into the pie. With a fork, gently move around the cherries so that the juice gets around to all of the pie. Then continue to fill to just under the top cherries. You may not use all of the juice, as you do not want the juice spilling over the edge nor do you want cherries floating.
- Top Crust: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon evenly over the cherries. Wet the outside circle of the bottom crust with your finger as a tool. Carefully place the top crust over the pie. Then use a 1/2 inch of the end of a fork and lightly press the top crust to the bottom crust where they touch with the tines. It makes the cool pattern you see on pie edges and seals the pie from leaking juice. Go all the way around, then take a knife and cut the extra crust away from the pie beyond the edge of the pie pan.
- Bake: Sprinkle a little more cinnamon on the top of the pie for "pretty." Bake at 350°F for 60 minutes.
This pie is best if you let it sit overnight after baking.