I took these photos last summer so I could share this Amaretto Sweet Cherry Pie recipe that I pieced together through trial and fancy and luck. However, when I finally found time to sit down and type out the recipe, it was well into pumpkin season. A post about sweet summer cherries just seemed cruel.
Now those gorgeous cherries are popping up everywhere once again, begging to be nestled into a buttery crust. Here in North Carolina, as in much of the country, temperatures are solidly in the triple digits, accompanied by stifling humidity. The very last thing I want to do is turn on the oven let alone wrestle an all-butter crust into a pie dish before the whole thing turns to a melty, gooey mess. However, you're probably made of sterner stuff than I, in which case, you should give this recipe a try. It is refreshingly different from the traditional cherry pie filling, with the addition of toasted almond slivers, a hint of nutmeg, and a hearty glug of amaretto. I originally intended to make an almond crust, but at the time all I had in the pantry was hazelnut flour (What? Not one of your pantry staples? You can usually find both almond flour and hazenut flour at Whole Foods. Or you can grind up your own nuts until they are fine crumbs.) The hazelnut crust tastes a bit like a Linzer cookie, which triggers all kinds of early childhood food memories for me of Christmas in Germany and road trips to Austria. So I stick to hazelnuts for this one. However, I use this same crust recipe with almond flour as my go-to crust for most sweet pies. It is simple and flavorful and not quite as persnickety as an all-wheat flour crust. The almond flour adds a hint of nuttiness and a wonderful texture, whereas the hazelnuts really pack a flavor punch.