Look Ma! I baked a pie! Me. Little ol’ me. Yup. All by myself.
And not just any pie. But a Classic Old Fashioned Cherry Pie with simple shortening crust and cherries fresh picked from the tree in Michael’s yard.
When he showed me the buckets and bags of cherries he pulled from the tree we immediately got thinking about pies, and crumbles, and muffins, and scones. We thought about jams and jellies but since baking is my thing I knew the first thing I wanted to try was a pie.
Considering all of the baking I do, would you believe I have never made a pie from scratch?! For some reason I’ve always been intimidated by making a crust, but after this success I’m not scared anymore! Honestly, what was I afraid of?
Last time I was home visiting my Mom I brought back this Robin Hood Flour Cook Book. This book is older than I am and I remember it being a part of my Mom’s kitchen when I was young. Oddly enough I don’t know if we ever baked anything out of it!
It has basic recipes for pretty much any classic baked good. I’ll be turning to it on a very regular basis!
For this Cherry Pie I used the recipes for Standard Plain Pastry and Fresh Fruit Pie Filling. Both are very basic, unintimidating, and simple to follow.
Classic Cherry Pie
adapted from Robin Hood Flour Cook Book
Double Crust Pastry
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening
5-6 tbsp cold water
4 cups fresh cherries, pitted
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp butter
Milk for brushing, Sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spoon flour into dry measuring cup. Level off and add to mixing bowl. Add salt. Stir well to blend.
Using a pastry blender (or two knives) cut in half the shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add remaining shortening and continue cutting in until particles are the size of small peas. (I actually used my hands for the last bit of blending).
Add water a little at a time, mixing lightly with a fork. Shape dough into a firm ball with your hands. Divide dough in half. Round up and flatten each portion slightly.
Roll one portion of dough on lightly floured surface to a circle 1/8” thick. Place carefully in a 9” pie plate. Roll out second portion of dough in preparation for topping filled pie.
Prepare your filling: Combine sugar and flour. Add cherries and mix lightly.
Fill pie. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Dot with butter pieces.
Cut small center hole in second rolled pastry portion. Place top over filling. Fold edges together with bottom pastry edges. Seal and flute edges. Cut equal slits in pie top for steam to escape. (I did four).
Lightly brush pastry with milk. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until top crust is golden brown. Cool.
Tips from Robin Hood:
Serve warm or cold but not hot.
If fruit is very juicy, sprinkle a little extra flour over bottom pastry before adding filling.
Never grease a pie pan. Good pastry greases itself!
Based on this experience I see a lot more pie in our future. Don’t anyone alert my waistline.