My husband asked for two things for Father’s Day-a nap and a cherry pie. The poor guy knows by now that nearly every recipe I cook is vintage in some form or another-his present pie was no exception.
It’s actually timely to do this recipe as we approach the Fourth of July holiday-fruit pies, in the form that we enjoy now, are a decidedly American invention. The early colonists brought the basics of pie making with them from England-but there, pies were traditionally filled with meat and vegetables. Soon, colonists began experimenting with fruits pointed out to them by the Native Americans and by the 1700’s, nearly every meal was complimented by a fruit pie of some sort.
I found this recipe in The White House Cookbook by Mrs. F.L. Gillette and Hugo Ziemann, Steward of the White House, in 1887. In it’s original form, it says:
Line your pie plate with good crust, fill half full with ripe cherries; sprinkle over them about a cupful of sugar, a teaspoonful of sifted flour, dot a few bits of butter over that. Now fill the crust full to the top. Cover with the upper crust and bake. This is one of the best of pies, if made correctly, and the cherries in any case should be stoned.
Perhaps they should put the part about pitting your cherries first! But really, this recipe is super-easy. Here’s the translated version:
• 3 cups tart cherries, pitted
• Double recipe of Pie Crust for Dummies
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 3 tablespoons butter
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the cherries in a strainer over a bowl and with your hands, squeeze out as much of the juice as possible. I find that I have to do this with fruit pies if the filling is uncooked, in order to keep them from being too runny. You can drink the squeezed out juice that you’ve caught in the bowl if you mix a little sugar with it-yummy!
Make the Pie Crust for Dummies but be sure to double it, as this is a two-crust pie.
Place one pie crust in the pan. Lay your cherries on top. Sprinkle the sugar over the cherries.
Dot the whole thing with the butter.
Lay on your top crust in lattice form or cut out shapes with the cookie cutter and lay those across the top of the pie. I tried to do a lattice for this one-I’m not very good at lattice!
Bake for 25 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven, or until your top crust is golden brown. I always put my pie pan on a round pizza dish, in case it bubbles over.
Enjoy and Happy Independence Day!