4 to 5 cups tart cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup raw sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon orange bitters
1 store-bought pie dough (about 1 pound)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 tablespoons cream
Softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
For the cherry filling: Combine the cherries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan, combine the cherries with sugar and lemon juice. Sprinkle with the tapioca and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the bourbon, almond extract and orange bitters. Let cool and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll each dough piece on a lightly-floured surface into a 12-inch disk. Gently place one disk into a 9-inch pie pan, bringing it up the sides. Make a few incisions in the middle of the remaining crust. Pour the cherry filling into the prepared pie shell. Lightly brush the border of the pie shell with water, and top with the second piecrust. Tightly seal the dough by pressing the edge with a fork or your fingers. Create some decorative touches with the scrap dough if desired to decorate the pie. Lightly brush the pastry shell with the cream and sprinkle with a little sugar. Place the pie on a larger baking sheet lined with parchment paper to catch any spills. Bake the pie until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the cherry juices are starting to bubble, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool, and then serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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