Apple season is finally here! All the more reason to bake pie! Add some cherries and you have a perfect dessert.
We claim pie in America as ours. And while the truth of the matter is that the origins aren’t really ours, pie feels classically American to us. I think it has to do with the way in which we’ve embraced it. We associate pie with good old fashioned cooking. Humble. Non pretentious. A dessert that anyone can relate to each other over.
I don’t know what it is about pie that just feels very homey and comforting. A slice of pie feels like love. I think it must be the hands on work that goes into making a pie. There is no way getting around it. In order to make a proper homemade pie crust you must get your hands in there. And the little imperfections in the crimping or the lattice work of the crust show that is was made by a real human with care. I prefer those little imperfections over a perfectly creased store bought pre-made crust. It gives each pie character. It shows that care and love was put into making it. And I would argue, these things make pie taste better.
Pie has always felt nostalgic to me. It feels like home. Like love. It brings back all kinds of memories of my grandmother. Probably because my grandmother seemed to always have a fresh baked one in the house. Usually apple or strawberry rhubarb or a lot of time apricot. Whenever we would go to their house for dinner I would anxiously ask, “What’s for dessert?” 9 times out of 10 the answer was pie of some kind.
My grandmother also loved to have us help her in the kitchen. I have vivid memories of standing on a little stool in the kitchen while she patiently showed me and my sister what to do. I wasn’t necessarily that interested in cooking or baking at the time. It was more about just being involved and helping and spending time with her and my sister.
There were definitely times when pre-made pie filling was used for my grandmother’s pie, though it was usually made fresh, but she always always always made her own crusts. I wish I would have paid more attention to all the nuances of her technique when I was younger. A recipe is just a recipe, but technique is everything in baking. I just wish I would have learned her recipe directly from her. But my sister got the opportunity to talk to her about it in detail and I have learned it from her.
It will probably take me several hundred more pies to get the technique just right and make my crust as perfect as hers, but her recipe creates a really flaky and tender crust. You can see my step-by-step tutorial here about how to make this incredibly simple crust (only 4 ingredients!). You can also learn all about how to keep your pie crust from shrinking here.
I wanted to make what felt like a classically American pie for the upcoming July 4th holiday. But I just kept going back and forth between apple and cherry. They always say “American as apple pie” but for some reason I just always thick of cherry as feeling very “Americana.” So I decided to combine the two. I definitely don’t regret that decision. I ate this pie for dessert then for breakfast and pretty much for most meals until it was gone.
Cherry pie from fresh cherries is just a whole different ball game than from canned filling. Definitely preferred. Happy cherry season!
TIP: IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CHERRY PITTER I SUGGEST HAMMERING A CLEAN NAIL INTO YOUR CUTTING BOARD OR CHOPPING BLOCK. JUST GENTLY PRESS THE CHERRIES OVER THE HEAD OF THE NAIL TO PUSH THE PITS OUT.
RECIPE HERE-> http://bakerbettie.com/cherry-apple-pie/