Happy Sunday, friends! My Sunday Coffee Break post today is not really a typical one – it’s about my mom! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Without you, I wouldn’t know how to boil a potato – and I certainly wouldn’t know enough about cooking and baking to have a food blog!
My mom, and my Grandma (her mom) taught me to bake when I was just a little kiddo and I have loved it ever since! I think, at first, I was just in it to sneak bites (or, ahem, fistfuls) of raw cookie dough when their backs were turned.
But, as time went on. my love for creating things out of food only increased! And, thanks to my mom, the food that I made got better – my early days in the kitchen consisted of asking her to let me make “Magic Muck” – a concoction of cornstarch and water that was fun to play with, and probably made a huge mess. ?
My mom is not only a fantastic baker – she’s an amazing cook too! When I was in college, I was calling her about every other day asking “Mom, how does that one recipe go that you always make for dinner?” She decided to simplify things for both of us and put together a huge binder of all her recipes for me! To this day, I use it regularly and it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.
Besides teaching me about cooking and baking, my Mom has taught me to appreciate and enjoy nature, to be kind to everyone, and to love Jesus! She sacrifices and serves others constantly and we are so blessed to have her for our mom! (We being me and my little bro – hi Nathanael!)
I also have to say I’m blessed to have TWO moms – Grant’s mom is equally amazing and she can bake some of the best cookies I’ve ever had!
We love you Mom!
Now, for the cherry pie – this is actually the pie that I made for my mom last weekend. Since Grant and I are going to Iowa today to see his family, we celebrated my Mom’s birthday and Mother’s day last weekend. And, she requested that I make a Cherry Pie for her!
I’m not a pie expert by any means, but this pie was pretty yummy! And I love any opportunity to eat some pie dough….I don’t know why but I love it so much! It’s literally just flour and butter but it’s SO GOOD.
See those little stars on the pie crust? Guess who taught me to do that – my mom. She always uses the little scraps of pie dough that are left at the end to make pretty shapes that she decorates the top of the pie with!
At Thanksgiving, she makes pumpkins and fall leaves, other times it might be an apple or some stars.
I’m a huge cheater and I used cookie cutters – she free hands it and it looks amazing every time!
If you’ve never had or made a cherry pie from scratch before, this is your time to shine! It’s not as hard as you might think – I tried to be very detailed in my instructions so you know exactly what your’e doing. I also linked (in the recipe notes) to two helpful tutorials if you’re intimidated or confused when it comes to pie crust. I was too when I first started making pie from scratch! But, with mom’s lessons, I learned to do it!
Besides, cherry pie is just plain delicious and there’s nothing better in the summer!
I hope you enjoy this pie and I hope you get to enjoy some time with your Mom today!
Lindsay at Pinch of Yum included this note in an email about Mother’s Day earlier this week and I want to echo her sentiment again here – “While Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate, for many, it can be a difficult day. Whether you have lost a mom, lost a child, long for a child, mother children in ways outside the norm, or have a less-than-perfect relationship with your mother, we see you, stand with you, and honor you today.”
- FOR THE CRUST
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks COLD butter
- 2 tbsp shortening
- 7-9 tbsp COLD water
- 3/4 tsp salt
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 6 cups tart cherries fresh pitted or thawed frozen work best
- 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 egg for egg wash
- coarse sugar, to sprinkle on the pie before baking
- Make the pie dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add it and the shortening to the flour. Cut the butter into the flour using two forks or a pastry cutter, until you have lots of coarse crumbs of different sizes. Add the COLD water, 1-2 tbsp at a time, stirring between each addition, until the dough starts to come together. Don't add too much water - add only enough to just moisten the dough. Transfer the dough to a floured counter. Work gently into a ball. Divide into two equal pieces and shape into thick discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
- Make the filling: Start the filling when the dough has only 5-10 minutes left to chill. You don't want this sitting out for 2 hours. In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the cherries, sugar, flour, lemon juice and almond extract. Take a taste, and add the extra 1/4 cup of sugar, if you feel it needs it. Set filling aside to rest while you finish preparing the pie dough.
- Assemble: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick cooking spray. Beat an egg in a small bowl and set aside to be your egg wash. Roll out one of the discs of chilled dough into a 11 or 12 inch circle and gently place into the 9-inch pie dish. Press the dough down so that it covers the dish evenly, making sure there are no holes in the dough. Leave the dough alone that's hanging over the edges, for now.Add the filling to the pie dish. Roll out the second disc of pie dough and use a pastry wheel or a sharp knife to cut strips of dough. I used 7 strips total, because my dough was being temperamental in our hot apartment, but 4 or 5 going each way is ideal - for a total of 8-10 strips. Brush the edges of the crust in the pie dish with the egg wash. Add the strips of dough on top of the filling. Carefully thread strips over and under each other, pulling back alternating strips as necessary to weave. I'm terrible at explaining how to do this step so PLEASE check out the links in the recipe notes, at the very bottom of this recipe, for some helpful links that give detailed instructions on how to do this. Trim the overhanging crust, and press gently on the edges to seal the strips to the bottom crust. Brush the crust strips with egg wash and sprinkle with some coarse sugar. Pie Crust Shapes: Cut out shapes with any remaining pie dough - brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees, after the pie has come out of the oven, for about 7-10 minutes. Check them at the 7 minute mark, and add the extra time if needed.
- Bake: Place the pie on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 375 and add a piece of foil with a hole cut in the center (or a pie shield) over the top of the pie to prevent the crust from burning - making sure the edges are covered! Then, return the pie to the oven and bake about 30 more minutes. The crust should be golden brown throughout and the filling bubbly, when the pie is done. Serving: As always - the longer you let the pie cool, the easier it will be to cut and serve without it being oozy or messy. I usually make this pie a day in advance and let it cool completely before serving. You can always warm slices in the microwave for a bit when serving if desired.
- Store: Let the pie cool at room temperature, then cover well with foil or plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. Don't store the pie crust decorations/shapes in the fridge - I always put them in a tupperware container and let them sit at room temp. Add them to the pie right before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days.
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