Sweet Cherry Pie

I'm not having a flashback to the lyrics from a big hair band, I'm actually in the kitchen baking.  But now I've got that song stuck in my head.....
Today I'm whipping up a cherry pie.  Traditionally, this pie is made from tart cherries, or "pie" cherries.  We don't have any of those this year; the trees were planted in the Spring, but we won't have fruit from them for a couple of years.  So, I just modified the recipe a bit and reduced the amount of sugar since the fruit is naturally sweeter.

What you'll need:
4 c sweet cherries, washed and pitted
3 (scant) T quick tapioca
2/3 c sugar
1/2 t almond extract
1 unbaked pie crust, top and bottom (I took the shortcut... rolls of pie crust from the dairy section of the grocery store.)

What to do:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out bottom crust and place in a pie pan.

Gently toss together the cherries, tapioca, sugar and almond extract.  Let this sit for 15 minutes.

Add cherries to bottom crust.  Gently pack them in as best you can.  They will bake down, but make them snug little cherries in the meantime.

Top with the top crust and crimp the edges together.  Get fancy if you want to, or keep it simple;  just be sure to pierce some holes in the top crust to allow the pie to vent while it's baking.  You might want to place it on a baking sheet in case your pie runeth over....
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40 minutes, or until pie is golden brown.  If you see your edges getting too brown too soon, shield them with strips of aluminum foil.  You can take them off during the last 10 minutes or so to get them perfectly golden brown.
Looks yummy!  I won't be enjoying this because I didn't modify this recipe to be gluten free... I am still working to perfect the GF pie crust.  But I have a panel of 4 judges that seem to think this pie is fantastic; you'll have to take it from them!

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