My all-time favorite dessert is cherry pie.
I felt slightly virtuous when I discovered recently that cherries are such a healthy ingredient, rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Naturally, then, I had a lot of fun whipping up a new version of this American classic, one that swaps out the buttery crust for phyllo dough.
It wasn't until I began my life as chef that I understood that cherry pie is supposed to be made with sour cherries, which boast more flavor than the sweet ones. Unfortunately, the season for sour cherries is short.
And then there are those pits.
There are plenty of kitchen gizmos for making easy work of pitting lots of cherries, but if you don't own one of them, the best method is to whack the whole cherry with the side of a chef's knife, after which the pit slides right out.
I thicken the filling with cornstarch rather than flour because I prefer the former's translucence to the latter's muddiness.
As mentioned, I kissed off the usual pie crust in favor of phyllo dough, but I kept some of the butter, which adds flavor and crispiness. For extra crunchiness, I layered in almonds ground up with a bit of cinnamon sugar.