You can’t watch Twin Peaks, the dark American mystery drama television series of the 90s, without walking away hungry for Norma Jennings’ cherry pie. Fans who are familiar with David Lynch’s cult series know that the show follows an investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. Agent Cooper would always order a cup of coffee and a slice of that “damn fine” cherry pie whenever he’d visited the Double R Diner.
Food is an important element in Twin Peaks. In a sense, the diner style fare is a metaphor in the show, representing the normalcy of the American suburban town and the placid sense of comfort that is broken by the undercurrent of crime. Nothing is more all-American or nostalgic than a slice of diner-style cherry pie but you might find better variations of this recipe online.
Serves 6-8 | Level: EASY | Total time: 2 Hours
double-crust pie dough
2½ cups (310 g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks, or 240 g) unsalted butter, chilled
6 tbsp ice water
- Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Slice the butter into the processor and pulse everything until it forms crumbs. Blend in enough ice water to create moist clumps, but not so it is all stuck together.
- Gather the dough into a ball with your hands. If you’re making double crust, divide the dough in half and form into 2 balls. Flatten into disc(s), wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
2 × 14.5-ounce (400 g) cans pitted red cherries
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp almond extract
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 double-crust pie dough, rolled and fitted to a 9-inch (23 cm) pie tin
1 egg white, for brushing
whipped cream, to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Drain the cherries, reserving ½ cup (120 ml) of the juice. Set aside the cherries and the juice.
- Combine the dry ingredients—the sugar, cornstarch, and salt—in a mixing bowl.
- In another mixing bowl, use a spoon to combine the wet ingredients—cherry juice, almond extract, and lemon juice.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing well. Add the cherries and mix again. Stir in the butter, then let the filling sit for about 15 minutes.
- Pour the cherry mixture into the pie crust and top with another layer of pie crust, sealing the sides with your fingers. Brush the top of the pie with the egg white, then use a knife to create vents.
- Bake for 45–55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
- You can serve the pie warm or let it cool to room temperature before slicing and serving with whipped cream.
The Geeky Chef Strikes Back is published by Race Point Publishing. ©2017 Cassandra Reeder
For SALT’s full review, download our December 2017 issue here! Meanwhile, here are the other dishes from the book that we tested: Jawa Juice from Star Wars, White Dragon Noodles from Blade Runner, Gunslinger Burritos from The Dark Tower, and Beef and Bacon Pie from Game of Thrones.