Cherry Pie

What is the best Pie Crust recipe without a good pie to go in it? Earlier this month I shared with you a recipe for PW’s Flat Apple Pie (also known as a Galette as we found out) and that was the pie crust I used for that. Really though, my favorite Pie when it comes to fruit pies is a Cherry Pie. YUM!

While you can buy cherry pie filling in the can, it’s almost just as easy to make your own. Now once upon a time I had a cherry tree in my yard. Boy I miss that cherry tree. The thing with Cherry trees is really the only time of year they give off cherries is late May early June depending on the weather. You also have to be especially quick so the dumb birds don’t eat all your fruit! The off time of year, where in the world do you find the tart cherries (or sour cherries as I like to call them)?ย 

When I went to Walmart, because as you may or may not know I live in one of those small towns in a flyover state where all we really have is Walmart, all they had were the big sweet cherries. They are okay to make a Cherry pie with, except you just cut down on the sugar added. But truthfully the tart cherries are the better tasting cherries in a cherry pie.

Finally I went to Reasor’s in Tulsa one one of my trips there and they had the tart cherries in bags. I may or may not have stocked up on them. Then once I came back home, I went to Food for Less and they have them too. <insert Happy Danceย ๐Ÿ’ƒ> With that being said, all you need to make your own cherry pie filling is the cherries, water, sugar, and cornstarch. Yes, it is easy to open up a can, but it tastes so much better when it is homemade! And it is truthfully just as easy!

If you’ve noticed, usually a cherry pie has the lattice work on top. In the past, Mark and I have placed each piece right there on top of the pie, but the other day we decided to do the lattice work on a piece of parchment paper, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and then transfer it over to the pie. Do you hear those angels singing? OMG, that made all the difference in the world and it was super simple! Yey!

This particular pie was made for a Bake Sale for Trails for Kids. Trails for Kids is a trail ride used to raise money for our local CP Center.

Last year I made a giant chocolate chip cookie in a cast iron pan that went for $130. I felt the pressure to try again to outdo myself. This year it didn’t just rain but it poured! We had flooding and almost had to emergency evac due to rivers flooding and everything else. I’m pleased to announce that we were all okay and even with the horrible weather we had a great turn out. Numbers were down but you always have good and bad years.

Anyway back to this Cherry pie… I placed it in a Cast Iron Pie Plate that my friend Tracy introduced me to last fall. This particular pie brought $50. Okay okay, so not as good as last year but I’ll definitely take it!ย 

Here was my finished pie that went into the auction. Really, the real winners are the kids who benefit at the CP Center from the Trails for Kids trail ride and all the other fundraisers and activities throughout the year.

So my Cherry pie………

Cherry pie

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups pitted cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • approximately 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 Cup cornstarch matched with just enough water to make a slurry
Instructions:

1. Combine fruit and sugar in a pan and stir together. If cherries are soft and mushy, you won’t need additional water, but if cherries are firm, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil.
2. Mix cornstarch with some cold water (about 3 tablespoons of cold water with 1/4 c cornstarch making a slurry), whisking to remove lumps.
3. When cherries are boiling, add cornstarch slurry mixture while stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add enough thickening agent to make the consistency you desire. We like our pies fairly thick.ย  Stir until the juices are clear.ย  When the filling looks clear, it’s fully cooked. Over-cooking will start to break down the filling. If you want your pie to be more of a red color, add a couple drops of food coloring (optional; I never do this.)
4. Pour into pie crusts and bake pies at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until browned.

Additional Notes:

*You can use sour or sweet cherries for this recipe, but you will need to adjust the sugar if using sweet cherries. I would use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar for sweet cherries.
**Cornstarch thickens, and will continue to become thicker as your mixture cools. Do not make it as thick when hot as you would like it to be when it has cooled, or it will be too thick.

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The BEST Pie Crust

I have the Best Pie Crust Recipe for you today. How do I know it’s the best? Because I’ve tasted it obviously!
A couple years ago at our house we had a cherry tree, boy I miss that cherry tree! Mark and I went out and picked the cherries and then it was time to make a pie. That particular day we didn’t have any eggs so we were trying to come up with a recipe for pie crust that didn’t require it to sit in the refrigerator for hours upon hours AND didn’t require eggs. Finally I went through a cookbook that my grandma had placed some recipes in. I read through the list of ingredients and it didn’t say eggs so SCORE! We started measuring out all the ingredients and then as we got halfway or better through it, bam, 1 egg. Palm to forehead moment. At that time we had some friends who lived just around the corner so we went and grabbed some eggs from them.
At that time I think we remarked, this better be a good pie crust. Let me tell you, this pie crust is awesome! In fact, another story, my father-in-law wasn’t having the best of luck with pie crusts and one day was talking to me about that. I mentioned I had my grandma’s and told him to at least try it once. From then on he was hooked. With all that, I’m telling you, this is THE BEST Pie Crust.
If you are looking through the list of ingredients, you’ll notice 5 cups of flour. That seems like a lot. But one thing to consider is this makes 4 pie crusts. Perfect. Use 1 or 2 for your pie and save the other two for another pie. Just wrap tightly in cling wrap and put in a freezer bag, then place in the freezer for that next time you need or want a pie.
If you plan on blind baking this (aka nothing in it but pie weights) bake at 350หš for 15 minutes. If you plan on baking with pie filling then bake at the temperature and time of the specified pie. Simple as that! And trust me, you’ll thank me for this recipe! It’s our go to pie crust and boy is it yummy!

The BEST Pie Crust

Ingredients (4 crusts)
  • 5 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Shortening (can use cheap kind and using part margarine works too)
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
Instructions:
Blend to small lumpy stage.
Then put an egg in a 1 cup measure. Add 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and blend. Fill to top of cup measure with very cold water, stirring as you do. Then pour over above mixture and toss lightly until it rolls into a ball.
Divide into 4 smaller balls; flatten each slightly. Use what you need for your pie or pies and put remainder in a plastic zip lock bag and freeze until needed. Keeps very well.
Then fill with your favorite filling. If you’re making a cream pie of sorts, place in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes to bake, otherwise, bake the crust when you’re baking your pie (ie apple, cherry, etc).
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PW’s Flat Apple Pie

Back in December I was in Texas. One of our favorite places to visit while down there is World Market. While we were walking around looking at this and that, really eying the silverware that I’ve wanted for years but still won’t buy, I stumbled across a book called Pie School | Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter. I made mention that I wanted it and low and behold I got it for Christmas! I started reading through it right away and the author, Kate Lebo, discusses things called a Galette. I’m sorry, a what? Basically it is a pie that is free form, as in you don’t bake it in a pie plate, but roll it out, place your filling in the middle, and roll the sides up over the edge of the filling. The more rustic you make it, obviously the better.

Why do I mention all of that? Well back in 2010/2011/2012 I embarked on an adventure of 101 items to complete in 1001 days. I didn’t get them all complete, but it was a good attempt. One of my items was at the time Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond released her first cookbook and I planned on trying to cook/bake my way through the entire book. Again, not something I was able to complete. This Flat Apple Pie happened to be one of the items in the book that I didn’t accomplish.

Last night was dive club meeting. I made some sugar cookies to take but I also wanted to make something else. For some reason this flat apple pie jumped out to me so I gathered up the ingredients and went to baking. By the way, I kind of love to bake… I’m learning this. As I was piecing this together, I started wondering, is this a Galette? Based off the description Lebo gives, I believe it is. You’re welcome.

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Frozen Peanut Butter Pie {National Peanut Butter Lovers Day – March 1}

Today is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day. I have a bunch of peanut butter lovers in my life… me… well I like it on toast and I like it in a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (I prefer grape jelly), but otherwise, it’s just kind of a hit or miss thing with me…. Of course truth be told, I’m a savory over sweet kind of person anyway….

But this recipe… this was my grandpa’s favorite recipe and it’s so simple. 4 ingredients plus a pie crust and something for a topping if you want… That’s it….

Make the filling, pour into a pie shell, stick it in the freezer for like 4 hours (if you can wait that long), and bam, you have a frozen peanut butter pie.

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Strawberry Pie {National Strawberry Day, February 27}

I really wish I knew how I started in on finding out what national day it was… I spent a whole afternoon looking up dates here recently. It’s actually kind of fun to see all the weird, interesting, National day holidays. And today happens to be:
  • National Kahlua Day
  • National Polar Bear Day
  • and
  • National Strawberry Day

And then on a fun side note, this morning when I turned on tv, Mickey Mouse was helping the giant and he had a belly ache from eating “too many strawberries.” How fitting!

Yesterday we went to Sam’s and bought some beautiful strawberries. Fun fact about Strawberries and it’s not really a fun fact about strawberries but more so about strawberries involving me… When my mom was pregnant with me, there were 3 grocery stores in town. She craved strawberries and cool whip but felt guilty going every day to buy that, so she would bounce between the three grocery stores so they didn’t look at her every day and feel sorry for the poor pregnant lady. lol. They always joked they were surprised I didn’t come up red or with strawberry hair. Instead I came out purple but that’s another story for another day…..

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Fruit Fried Pie – The Filling

If you were to ask me what my favorite kind of pie was… well I have 2. I love Cherry Pies but I also love Coconut Cream Pies as long as they aren’t topped with Meringue. I’m not a big fan of the Meringue. I have a hard time deciding between the two as my top favorite. I also love Banana Cream Pie, especially with a graham cracker crust. Dang, for the amounts of sweets I’ve eaten these last couple days, I can’t believe I’m even thinking of sweets! You have no idea!

So let’s focus on fruit pies because really, we’re putting these in the fried pie dough and I’m not sure coconut cream pie would taste very good in fried pies. Although they do have chocolate fried pies, but we’ll just stick with the fruit fried pies because… well… that’s what I choose to do ๐Ÿ˜€.

So our first filling is Cherry Pie filling.
Ingredients:
3 Cups cherries
Sugar
Corn Starch
Almond Flavoring (optional)
Water
Lemon juice
salt

The cherry pie filling we made for these fried pies is actually a little different than my go to Cherry Pie Filling for a normal Cherry pie. It was good, but just a little different.

Start by placing 1 cup berries in with 1 cup water and 3/4 to 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and add 2 tbsp lemon juice, dash of salt, and 1/4 cup cornstarch stirred into 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened. Cool slightly and add 3 cups fresh or frozen berries. Now you want the filling to be really thick so add a little more cornstarch slurry if need be to have a real thick mixture.

Now Grandma wanted Fried Apple Pies so I ran down to her canning room and grabbed a jar of canned apples. Don’t ask he how she put them up, I just don’t know. Sorry!

Anyway, Ingredients:
Quart Jar of apples
cinnamon
water
corn starch

Basically you’re going to follow the same instructions as above, but the apples were put up with a bit of sugar in our case so we cut back to 1/2 cup sugar. The cornstarch amount was about the same but didn’t need the additional because that was enough to thicken it up nicely. we also omitted the pinch of salt.

Technically you could say the apple pie filing was easier….

Now that the filling is made, you really want to put the filling in the dough while it is still hot. It helps to cook the pastry through so you don’t have cold filling against raw dough.

You place 1-2 tbsp of filling in the middle of the dough. We also made a cornstarch slurry and brushed around half of the pie dough so that when we folded it over, it helped seal the dough and keep the filling in.

I ran to take this picture and when I came back I knocked my slurry over that was made up for my cherry filling. I had to clean up my mess and make a new slurry. That’s how it wound up on my boot….

Now if you want to look real fancy, after you press and seal the pastry dough, take a fork and put tine marks all the way around the sealed edge.

A new one for me was to use crisco to fry. Wait what? Yup, sure enough. Place it in the pan, bring it up to around 375 degrees and you’re ready to go.

While you’re waiting for the shortening to melt, you can make up the pastries. Take a paper towel and lightly brush it with a coating of flour, really you just want a light light light dusting. That helps to keep the pie dough from sticking to the paper towel.

Once your shortening is melted, it’s time to fry those pies. Basically we put them in long enough for the dough to turn a golden color and then out they came. We were surprised, it was like a minute or 2 and that was it.

Take them out, drain on a paper towel, and the best part…. Eat them! Let them cool a bit so you don’t burn yourself but warm is always better.

And that is how you make fried pies. Totally worth it and just remember… the ones on the plate you don’t eat, they contain all the calories ๐Ÿ˜œ.

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Fried Fruit Pies – The dough

If there is one thing I can tell you I shouldn’t do when I’m tired, it would be bake or cooking in general. I make mistakes, I forget things, it’s just not good. Take my word for it. I’m actually sitting here thinking maybe I shouldn’t blog either, but this was when I had a minute and I wanted to so bear with me. And I may or may not have a cake in the oven… don’t let me forget to go check it!!

So let me paint you the picture… a few months ago (okay maybe over the summer… that’s a few months right?) I attempted to make Cherry Fried Pies. My goal was to make the filling, make the dough based off grandma’s recipe, and bam, we’d have fried pies. Yeah, better thought than actually what happened.

It turns out my filling was way to runny. So I pulled out muffin tins, placed the dough inside, filling and then I think topped with dough and baked them. I can’t really remember. I do remember they tasted good but they sure weren’t fried pies. I had friends over at the time and we got a good laugh so it was worth it, right?

I told them we’d try again. Today was that day. Karen came over and we went to my grandma’s house. It was time to go to the fried pie master and have her show us the tricks. As we were watching the weather, or at least I was watching the weather, I had a fear that the ice-pocolips that they said was coming would hinder our plans but it didn’t! In fact, things didn’t get nearly as bad as they predicted, so that’s good right?

We laughed. We might have thrown eggs across the kitchen (wasn’t me!) or dumped the corn starch because we were trying to take a picture (guilty!) or gotten corn starch on our boot (guilty again!) or whatever. It was a great day to spend in doors (brrr!) with family and friends. And we learned a lot from grandma too! Oh and if your noting mistakes… neither of us can apparently count 12 balls of dough. Karen got 13, I came up with 16. Don’t ask I have no clue!

I think I’ll break this into two posts, the fried pie dough and then the fried pie filling. First, the dough! (which oddly enough my dough pictures have my hands in them…..)

For the dough:
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup crisco
2 tbsp sugar (optional)
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk

Fruit filling

In a bowl, mix 3 cups flour, soda, powder, salt, and sugar if you want it a little sweeter, we omitted the sugar. Cut in the crisco. In a mixing cup, mix 1 cup buttermilk with 1 egg and then stir into the flour mixture. Knead the dough. Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Divide into 12 balls (haha… yeah neither one of us excelled at that….). Then lightly flour your surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough balls into about 6 inches.

Now this is where you put 2 tbsp of your filling, pinch together, and fry those puppies. (aka those fried pies!!)ย 

We actually fried in crisco. Can I tell you now that I didn’t know you could melt crisco so easily and fry things in it? We never did growing up and I guess I never was around when Grandma did that. I learned something new today, go me, go me!

This post brought to you by the exclamation point (apparently….) and the fact that I somehow managed to put cornstarch on my boot, as well as squirting cherry pie filling down the front of my shirt. I think I even got cornstarch on my shirt somewhere but I couldn’t see it…. It happens. Don’t ask ๐Ÿ˜†.

 

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