My oh my, what a decadent cherry pie. Rich dark chocolate, deep purple cherries and sweet agave nectar nestled inside a flaky butter crust, laced with finely ground graham crackers.
Here’s another thing to add to my “you can’t get this in New York” list–cheap cherries. No matter what time of year it is, cherries never get as inexpensive as they are right now in the Bay Area. I bought these at Yasai Market on College Ave. in Oakland for $1.50 per pound, and the farmers’ markets have them for $2.50 per pound. That’s right my New York City friends, this means you can bake a cherry pie and still have money left over to pay the rent.
And what pairs with cherries better than chocolate? I used organic, fair-trade dark and milk chocolate from Dagoba. Chopping up the chocolate before you mix it with the cherries helps prevent an all-chocolate bite of pie, and helps it completely surround the cherries as it melts. There is not a pinch of white sugar in this recipe (except for garnish, and I did that for the sake of pretty pictures). The agave nectar and super ripe cherries give it all the sweetness it needs. Don't expect your run-of-the-mill syrupy cherry pie. This one is full-bodied and balanced, much like a fine glass of Cabernet.
There are a zillion flaky pie crust recipes to choose from online. There’s all-lard, all-butter, a combo of both, or even olive oil pie crusts. I prefer all-butter, but also sifted in ground graham crackers with the flour for texture, flavor and because they go so well with dark chocolate. Homemade pie crust is so simple, and as long as you keep all the ingredients as cold as possible, I guarantee it will bake up ten times better than store bought.