Cherry Pie

Sometimes the smallest choices in word selection can make the largest difference in mind set.  “I don’t <insert verb here>” sounds so similar to “I will <insert verb here>” but is miles apart in mind set.

This year, the local cherries are ripe and ready for the picking a full week before the Memorial Day invasion of U-Pick crowds.  Deciding to take advantage of the situation, I tried to figure out what to cook with the cherries left after snacking on them endlessly all day.  Duck with a cherry sauce reduction?  Duck isn’t available in the local stores.  Cherry ice-cream?  Its crazy cold for some reason this week, so that doesn’t sound desirable (yet).  Cherry pie?  I don’t bake pies.

There you go.  “I don’t bake pies.”  But, the cherries are plentiful and I don’t have to fight crowds to get them.  What’s the worse thing that can happen?  I end up with ugly pastry crust and lovely, gooey cherries?  Life can be worse.  After a quick 180 in mindset, I decided that I DO bake pies as long as Marie Callender provides the crust.  I did, and so can you.

Cherry Pie

adapted from this Food Network Magazine recipe

Ingredients:

2 frozen pie crusts

6 cups pitted, halved Bing cherries

2 TBS quick-cooking tapioca

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 TBS water

1 TBS heavy cream

1 tsp sugar

Directions:

1.  Combine cherries tapioca, sugar, salt, vanilla, and water in a bowl, stirring gently to coat the cherries evenly.

2.  Pour berry mixture into one pie shell.  Lightly flour a work surface, invert the empty pie shell onto the surface, dust with flour, and roll out with a rolling pin to increase the diameter by 2 inches.  Gently place this dough over the pie filling.  Press the crust edges together and trim the excess.

3.  Place a foil-lined baking sheet on a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees.  Wrap an oiled, wide band of foil around the pie edge to protect the crust.  Make slashes in the top of the crust; chill for 30 minutes.

4.  Reduce the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the pie for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil band, brush the crust with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool before slicing.

Notes:

  • Confessional time.  While I did actually pick cherries once, I now buy them at the orchards already picked.  Now I simply relish the sheer joy in picking cherries that has kept me from repeating the event.
  • After brushing the crust with cream, the pie was ready in 25 minutes.
  • This is not your “Hey, Aunt Betty, my cherry pie is going to beat yours at the county fair” kind of pie.  Its more of a “Check this out, I can make a delicious cherry pie that 1) doesn’t use canned fruit, and 2) isn’t sickening sweet.”
  • Proud?  Heck yeah I’m proud!
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3 responses to “Cherry Pie

  1. Way to go! Looks delish! Several years ago I embarked on a 2yr odyssey for the “perfect” applie pie recipe. Know what I learned along the way? Store-bought crusts are better than any crust I was able to make. AND they don’t require advance planning! They thaw by the time you’re done preparing your filling.

  2. wow, I don’t think I’ve ever had a handmade cherry pie, just the gloopy hostess version from 7-11… how disgraceful! this sounds amazing.

  3. fresh cherries are meant to be placed into a pie and that’s all there is to it. if only they weren’t so dang expensive here! forget apple pie–i’m as american as cherry pie!

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