Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This is STILL Not a Cooking Blog, But...

 Hi, everyone. I've been promising for a while now that I would talk about apostrophes. Apostrophes are a major problem threatening our very way of life...wait. The apostrophes aren't threatening our way of life; it's the people abusing the apostrophes. Anyway, I was going to talk about them, but I'm just not in the mood. So let's talk about pie. Pie is always a good topic!

I made a cherry pie last week....out of real cherries and everything. It was good, and The Hillbilly and I didn't share it with a single soul. I don't feel guilty though because we shared bags of cherries with every single individual we came in contact with for the last two weeks.  You read all about the cherries in The Hillbilly's post, right?

The cherry pie, which was the most exciting thing in his post except for the death-defying, ladder climbing, old guy, looked like this:


Now, I did something unusual when I baked this pie; I took pictures. This is very unusual because I am not a food blogger. This will never be a recipe blog, but today I just feel like discussing the process of making a cherry pie. So this is a discussion, not a recipe, got it?

Okay then. If you wanted to make a cherry pie out of fresh cherries, first you would have to pit the cherries. (I'm like Amelia Bedilia--shouldn't I unpit the cherries?) Now I have unpitted cherries in many different ways, some slow and laborious, others slightly quicker. Last year I finally found the most wonderful cherry pitter on earth! I was so happy! It has taken me up to an hour to pit enough cherries for one pie in the past. With this device, it took me SEVEN minutes!

I pitted one quart of cherries in 7 minutes with this baby!

 So you get your fantastic cherry pitter, and you pit yourself 4 cups of cherries.
Put the cherries in a bowl and gather your ingredients.
 Now I'll tell you the amounts that I use. You may have to experiment because your cherries may be different: sweeter or less sweet; juicier or less juicy, etc. These amounts are a good starting place though.

For a nine-inch pie I use 3/8 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons corn starch. Mix this stuff all together and then dump it on top of the cherries:

Stir it all up. You'll probably have dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl. That's fine.

Now set that bowl aside while you prepare your pie crust. As you may recall, I've already shared the recipe for THE WORLD'S GREATEST PIE CRUST. You can click on over there to get the recipe. I didn't share any pictures of the process, so I'll do that here.

Use your pastry cutter to mix your shortening and flour so it looks like this.

A pastry mat is handy but not necessary to help you roll your dough to the right size and shape.

After you roll your circle, fold it in quarters to make it easy to move into your pie dish.
Unfold your dough and gently (GENTLY!) arrange it in the dish. Then pour in your filling. Be sure to get all the dry ingredients that settled to the bottom of the bowl.

Use 2 tablespoons of butter to dot the top of the filling. I always cook with real butter.
Now it's time to roll out your second crust for the top. 

I've crimped the edges, cut some holes in the top to vent the steam, and sprinkled on a little cinnamon and sugar.
When it's all ready, put the pie in the middle of your preheated oven. Yes, I forgot to tell you to preheat the oven, but that's why you should always read the entire recipe before you begin cooking something. My mama taught me that, and now I'm teaching you. You're welcome.

Anyway, cook it at 425 degrees for 35-45 minutes until it's all golden brown and bubbly. You might want to cover the edges for the last 15 minutes if they're looking too brown. Use a little foil, but be careful you don't burn yourself.

So that's it. I'm glad we had this little discussion. I expect you each to run right out and bake your own cherry pie; then come back and let me know how it turned out in the comments...Sorry. School's been out a couple weeks, but it takes a while for the old habits to settle down.

If you actually DO intend to bake a cherry pie (which I fully expect) and you have any questions, I'd love to answer them. 

How many people actually bake pies these days? Any of you? What's your favorite? If you're not a pie eater, what kind of dessert do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!

Hanging out with the great writers at Yeah Write.