They say that pictures say a thousand words, so here's a few thousand.
I made this cherry pie for Thanksgiving. I waited months for it. This past spring I was shocked to discover fresh sour cherries on sale at the local Stop & Shop in Connecticut. I have NEVER seen them for sale there or at any other market in CT. But here they were from a New York State grower. I made a tart and cobbler right away with some, and froze the rest so I could make cherry pie for Thanksgiving, it's my favorite.
It came out terrific, delicious cherry taste and bright color to boot. I was in heaven. If I find these cherries again next year I am going to buy every quart in the store.
My guests loved the pie too and asked how the color stayed so red. I explained that I used tapioca to thicken it and tapioca, unlike flour, leaves pie fillings very clear. They said they never knew tapioca could be used to thicken pies and commented that there were no tell tale lumps or signs of tapioca, just clear cherry filling.
I brought out a box of Minute Tapioca and showed them the back of the box which explains how to use it in pies. The pie disappeared quickly. Fortunately I snapped a few shots first.
If anyone is thinking about using tapioca as a pie thickener, go for it.
Just make sure to use Minute Tapioca (I used 2 tablespoons for a 9-inch pie), and let it sit with the fruit and sugar and whatever else you are putting in the filling for 15 minutes.
You can also put the filling mixture in the microwave for about two minutes to get it warmed up before putting it in the pie shell. I did that because my cherries were still a bit cold, even after being at room temp for a while, and I wanted to make sure the tapioca would do its thing.