Yes! We are lucky today to have a food industry that at least is good at capturing ripe fruit and keeping it around in frozen form for the entire year. So I was thinking of a red-themed Valentine's Day and of course one of the first desserts that springs to mind is cherry pie.
And if you stop by Sprouts or another health-oriented store in Tucson, you can find organic cherries frozen and just waiting to be made into pie. If you aren't into making pastry, that is all right too, because organic pie crusts are available premade now as well.
Cherry pie works best with a top crust, and there are a lot of ways to do pie crust these days. What I would use is a plastic die that you lay over a round crust before you bake it, and press down hard and evenly. The design on the plastic will be impressed into the crust, and you pick out the cutouts and cover your bright-red cherries with it, and you will love the result. I haven't looked for this tool here in Tucson, but if I were looking for one I would go to Bed, Bath & Beyond and see if they happen to have them.
Another way to make a lattice-top pie, besides cutting the dough into strips and laying them across the upper surface, is to use a rolling cutter called a lattice cutter, which is available at Kitchen Conservatory online, or again perhaps in a local store that has a large selection of specialized kitchen tools.
My most extravagant and labor-intensive move would be to make two individual cherry pies, using a set that I bought last year. You get two pie pans much smaller than the conventional ones, and a pressure cutting tool to make a design on the pie crust before you lay it over the top and seal the pie for baking. The King Arthur Flour Company carries this online, along with a topper disk that creates the pattern.
Usually you will find instructions on the package of frozen cherries that will give you the proportions of sugar and thickener to make a cherry pie, and once you find that you're just about home free. But here is a basic recipe that will get you where you want to go.
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup cherry juice blend
4 cups fresh tart cherries, pitted, or frozen pitted tart cherries, thawed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 prepared pie crusts, top and bottom
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in
cherry juice until the mixture is smooth. Bring it to a boil; cook and stir for 2
minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the cherries,
cinnamon, nutmeg and extract; set aside.
Transfer the pastry to a pie plate; trim the lower crust even with the edge of the plate.
Add the cherry filling. Roll out the remaining pastry; make a lattice or decorative crust. Trim, seal and flute edges.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375°; bake 45-50
minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
The larger, sweeter Bing or dark cherries that you see in supermarkets are not recommended for cherry pie, and if you happen to come upon fresh tart pie cherries, you must be prepared to pit them yourself. There are pitting tools out there as well, and you might as well pick one up if you want to tend to cherries and olives this way once in awhile.