One of the funny things about family traditions is that it can be hard to tell that they're specific to your family only. Growing up, we had cherry pie every February for Presidents' Day. I mentioned this recently to one of my brothers, and he said "I thought Mom just liked cherry pie." I mentioned to some other people that I wanted to bake a cherry pie soon for the holiday, and almost no one saw the connection. Was this just specific to my family then?
Since cherries, along with almost every other kind of fruit, are out of season in the winter, I like using frozen dark cherries. They don't have quite the same flavor as sour cherries (the usual kind used for pie), but the addition of lime gives the cherries more depth. Cherries and lime just taste so bright and fresh, the perfect thing for a winter day.
I haven't included a recipe for the dough because everyone seems to have their favorite pie crust. I like all-butter dough. I was a little pressed for time this time, though, so I used store-bought dough. The outcome wasn't quite as good, but I was still happy with the overall pie.
Cherry Lime Pie
pie dough (use your favorite, enough for a double crust)
6 cups frozen dark cherries, defrosted
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cup sugar
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 425°. Line a deep pie dish with dough (1/8th inch thick) and crimp the edges. In a large bowl, combine cherries, cornstarch, sugar, and lime zest and juice. Pour cherry mixture into pie dish and dot with butter. Roll out second half of dough to 1/8th-inch thick and, using a small star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many stars as possible. Arrange dough shapes over the top of the pie, overlapping so they can bake together. Brush top with milk and dust with sanding sugar.
Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° and bake for another hour, until the filling is set and bubbly. Use a pie crust shield or foil around the edges if the edges brown quickly. Let cool completely before serving.