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1-1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups pitted dark sweet cherries
Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
Star cookie cutters (1/2 inch and 2 inches)
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir in cherries. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Cook and stir cherry mixture over medium heat until mixture boils and starts to thicken.
Pour into jars or freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cool. Cover with lids; refrigerate or freeze. Yield: 3 cups filling for one pie.
To make pie: Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; add filling. (If filling is frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.) Flute edges of pastry. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cover edges during the last 20 minutes to prevent overbrowning.
Meanwhile, cut remaining pastry into 12-14 large stars and 16-18 small stars; place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners` sugar. Place stars randomly over cooled pie. Sprinkle edges of pie with confectioners; sugar. Yield: 3 cups filling for one pie.