Save your fork and pass the pie – take time out for a slice of life, Southern Style and you can certainly have cherry on Thanksgiving and enjoy every bite!
Goodness knows, in the South, we don’t wait for a holiday to enjoy a slice of pie - but on holidays it should be your favorite pie - Right? Like they say, “Just save your fork and pass the pie.” Most food historians agree that this comfort food is America’s number one dessert. Everyone has a favorite, but who doesn’t like pie?
Certainly the pastry that nestles the sweet goodness must be equally divine!
Pie dough doesn’t fall into that “easy as pie,” category for everyone, but it should. A basic recipe and a few simple skills will ensure a flakey crust each and every time. Though completely from scratch baking of days gone by is all but a lost art form; the taste of the fresh ingredients, with no additives, is still unsurpassed. Never again will you have to reach for that frozen crust or ready-made pie to satisfy a craving. After all, homemade goodness and the taste of a slice of pie warm from the oven is something that money just can’t buy.
Cherry Pie in Star CrustPastry
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Secrets to a good pie crust: chilled ingredients and chilled dough.
Put flour, salt and sugar in a bowl, blender or food processor. Add the pieces of butter and process approximately 10 seconds or until it resembles "coarse meal." Add ice water drop by drop while machine is running (or you are mixing) just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not mix longer than 30 seconds. Roll dough out on a piece of plastic wrap. Press down slightly. Chill for at least one hour.
After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself, crimping as desired. Refrigerate the pastry, covered with plastic wrap, while you roll out the remaining pastry and make the cherry filling. Meanwhile, remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch circle. Using a 2-1/2 inch star cookie cutter, cut out about 20 stars.
Place the stars on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. (I use two sizes of stars and made a pattern so you can make any pattern you want –hearts, Christmas trees, etc. or just top with double crust or lattice style, up to you.
4 cups pitted sweet or tart canned or bottled cherries, drained with 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved
1 cup sugar, or to taste
2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
2 tablespoons cream
Softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
Place the cherries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, corn starch, salt, lemon juice, vanilla, and gently toss to combine. Add the 1/3 cup reserved cherry juice. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes and then pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and dot with the 2 tablespoons (of butter. Lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with the egg wash. Starting at the outside edge of the pie, place the cut out pastry stars in a circular pattern on top of the cherries, making sure the tips of the stars are touching. Once the top of the pie is completely covered with the pastry stars, brush the entire surface with the cream. Sprinkle with a little granulated white sugar.
Place the pie on a larger baking pan, lined with parchment paper, to catch any spills. Bake the pie for about 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue to bake the pie for about 25 - 35 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the cherry juices are starting to bubble. If the edges of the pie are browning too much during baking, cover with a foil ring.
Cherry DelightThis recipe has been in our family for years, and is always a favorite for potlucks and other special occasions. It is easily and quickly prepared. The red cherry topping makes this dish a delightful dessert for occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
1-¾ cup graham cracker crumbs, crushed
¼ cup butter, melted
1 ( l-lb.) box powdered sugar
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 pint whipping cream
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla flavoring
1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling
Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter to form crust in 9-inch pie shell or 9x9-inch pan. Soften cream cheese and mix with powdered sugar. When thoroughly mixed, spread over pie crust. Mix whipping cream, adding sugar and vanilla flavoring. Spread over cream cheese and powered sugar mix. If time permits, refrigerate until whipping cream is firm before topping with cherry pie filling. Add cherry pie filling and serve.