Sunday, March 15, 2015
Sour Cherry Pie
My second fruit pie. I'm beginning to feel like Raymond feels about cookies--why are there so many fruit pies in this book? I'm also beginning to feel like Raymond when he gamely bakes a cookie and then decides he really likes it. I'll admit it. I liked the Black and Blue pie, and now I find out I like the Sour Cherry pie. Even with canned cherries, which surely must be third or fourth on the list of most desirable sources of tart cherries.
On the cans, the cherries look bright red. (And they're called "red tart cherries"). I wasn't expecting the brilliant and unreal red of maraschino cherries but I was hoping for something a little better than the sickly pink I saw when I opened the can.
Fortunately, they were water-packed, and the water must have picked up some of the color missing from the cherries, so when I mixed the juice with the cherries, cornstarch, and sugar, the mixture got a little less sickly-looking. I toyed with the idea of adding a little food coloring, but I decided just to see what happened.
They didn't get much better, so I decided to wait and see what happened when I baked the pie.
Now we talk about the pie crust. Making and rolling out the pie crust is usually where I go ballistic, but since Rose so kindly devised and introduced us to the wonders of cream cheese pie crust, my ballistic level has gone way down. Some would say I'm downright serene, although I guess, in reality, serene is a word used only by me. Jim would say I'm less volatile.
Rose's pie plate was a nice treat to get for myself, because it means I don't have to fuss with making a decorative crust, which, frankly, never looked all that decorative.
I still have jagged edges after I roll something out, with inlets and ravines. At least my inlets and ravines are all 1/8-inch thick, thanks to the pastry wands. I want to get Rose's new rolling pin too.
My hope, which is not borne out by experience, is that if I get enough gadgets and tools, I'll never have to actually improve.
Let's talk a little bit about the lattice top. I could not think of any reason to require this other than torture. It's hard enough to get two pie crusts to go together in such a way that people don't have an urge to giggle when they see it. I could only imagine a worse fate for the lattice. Some of my lattice strips broke apart just sitting on the counter. It was scary to think about what they might do when I lifted them up.
One down, thirteen to go.
Here's where it starts to get tricky. I tried to remember how my mom did her cherry pies--the only ones she made with a lattice. Where is it written that cherry pies must have lattice tops? I thought about topping the pie with lattice strips shaped into the numerals "3.14," but that seemed even more difficult. There was nothing I could do at this point but trudge ahead.
No one was more surprised than I was when I finished the braiding and it didn't look horrible. There are definitely some missteps along the way, but it's not the mess I thought it would be.
We had only two guests for dinner. At dessert, my daughter said, "Just a small piece. I don't like pie that much." She also said, "Don't even bother giving JJ pie. He'll just eat the ice cream."
But he decided he'd try the pie. "This is yummy, Lulu. I do like pie." Words to melt a grandmother's heart. His mother decided she liked pie too. And Jim. And me. But if I can't complain about pie crusts and fruit pies, what am I going to find to complain about?
I'm sure there'll be something. But not this. This is yummy.