Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pie in the Sky

In a similar vein to yesterday, here is a picture from the front of my Apartment complex.  After 24 hours, notice the lack of snow.

Taken this morning outside of my apartment on my way to work.
Seriously, what is going on with this weather.

Weather rant aside, I am so excited to show you the cherry pie I made this past weekend. I only recall making apple pies so I wanted to challenge myself with a cherry pie.  I was a little nervous because with apple, you put the raw apples in and bake it but for the cherry I had to make the filling first. 

Cherry Pie Filling
I used this Cherry Pie Recipe from The Food Network.  I adapted the recipe by adding some lemon juice and zest to help make the cherries a little tart. I also used 2 bags of frozen cherries which was about 6 cups.  Note: I didn't use all of the liquid because it would have overflowed the pie pan.

I have to say, I was incredibly impressed by how easy this recipe was in comparison to apple pie.  I didn't have to peel and slice apples just threw the defrosted cherries in a sauce pan and cooked til the juice released and added the flavorings, sugar and corn starch.  Voila!  Cherry Pie Filling!

While this was cooling, I worked on the pie crust.  We have always used a shortening based crust, but what I didn't realize was that it was the Crisco Pie Crust until I couldn't find the recipe card and on a whim checked the back of the Crisco Stick Label.  Low and behold there was our "family" recipe.  Now I am not blaming my grandmother for pawning off a Crisco recipe as her own but it's funny how over time things develop into "family" recipes. 
Shortening Cut into Flour and Salt

Anyway, the best thing about following the Crisco recipe was a few clarifying steps.  I made sure the shortening was cold before I cut it into the flour and salt. You can use a food processor but I prefer to cut the shortening by hand.

I also made sure that I chilled the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out. 

Rolled out dough.  I am incapable of rolling out circles.

Both of these tips really made a nice crust.  My mom didn't take these steps and her crust was always a but floury but mine came out nice and flaky.  I do wonder what it would taste like with butter flavored shortening. I will have to try that the next time.
Pie just out of the oven

Just a dusting of Flour will do
I admit I forgot to dot the pie with butter before I up it in the oven but I don't know if it needed it.  It was really tasty.  Also this was the first time that I made a lattice top crust.  It's not perfect but I am really proud of how it came out.

I did however remember to do some other tricks for making pies.  First, I made sure I added a bit of flour at the bottom of the crust before I poured in the filling.  This helps thicken the filling so it doesn't run over. 

I also made sure I used the pie drip pan.  This doughnut shaped pan catches anything that may run over but it also allows heat to move around the pie for even cooking.

The one in the front has been in the family forever, the one in back is a new non-stick version

My First Pie!
Well, I can't wait to make another cherry pie, or maybe a mixed berry pie in the future.  Pie has always been easy but then again, I have been making them for as long as I remember.

I tend to think of baking as my specialty but really its so much more than that.  To pull out the recipes (original or otherwise) that my family has made for years allows me to connect to the past.  I can feel my mom, grandmothers, great grandmother and other relatives guiding my hands as I create wonderful and delectable creations.  I can't wait to share these with my children and grandchildren.

Can I get you a slice of pie?


  1. Looks so yum!! :D I would like to bake but afraid it'll go to waste since there's no one to eat it. I've never made a pie before. Suppose I could make a mini one for practice. This is cute: http://alongprovidence.com/2011/cute-as-pie

    1. I usually take my baked goods to work after I finish for the same reason so it doesn't go to waste. I left this one with my dad who is eating a bit each night for dessert. I am intrigued by the link and will have to check those out. They look adorable. Thanks for sharing!