National Cherry Pie Day: red, white, and you!: red, white, and you!

cherry_pie_2

Red for the cherries, white for the crust and the whipped cream on top, and you, because King Arthur wants you… to bake a pie!

Remember Washington’s Birthday? Way back when, it was a sort-of school holiday (I confess being old enough to celebrate Washington’s birthday on the actual date, instead of the now calendar-convenienced President’s Day). These days I remember the Father of Our Country mostly for his effect on the Mother of Our Family.

Mom made this cherry pie every year, mostly because a) who doesn’t like cherry pie? and b) it was fun to have an annual reason to bake one.

Today is National Cherry Pie Day, and even though the story of  young George, his hatchet, and the cherry tree was likely a work of fiction on the part of Parson Mason Weems, Americans have spent more than 200 years with the association, and frankly, it has stuck.

Which is fine with me, because I am a firm believer in pie in general, and Cherry Pie in particular.

Pie is important to us at King Arthur. It’s one of the main subjects we teach on our Traveling Baking Demonstrations.

That’s me going after an apple pie, somewhere in… Ohio? Colorado? Oregon? Someplace like that. I love all the places I travel to, but I remember the people much more than I do the hotel ballrooms.

Pie scares people. Not eating it, but making pie crust. It’s one of what we call the “Grand Canyons” of baking. Something they admire, revere, and love to eat, but they see the distance between their two hands and the pie crust they have on a pedestal in their heads as being a gulf greater than said geographical feature. That’s one of the reasons we make it part of our demonstrations: to help people close that gap.

If you can’t get to a demo, and want your own personal, detailed tutorial, check out our Pie Essentials DVD.

I made every pie and type of crust I could fit into 75 minutes. Long, medium, and short-flake crusts. Oil crusts. Crusts with coconut oil, vegetable oil, and lard. I show how to mix, roll, decorate, crimp, blind bake, and make a slab pie. Among other things.

We decided we should spread the word about today’s theme with some help from some of our favorite bloggers, all of whom care about baking and good food as much as we do. Since you’re reading this, we think you’ll also be interested in what they write and bake. Each of them is also featuring cherry pie in some way today. Here’s our shout-out to a collection of wonderful bloggers:

Aimee at the Yankee Seeker

Kelsey at The Naptime Chef

Amber at Bluebonnets and Brownies (my favorite displaced Texan and now Jersey girl)

Brandy at Nutmeg Nanny

Astrid at Lunches Fit for a Kid

Mark at the Manly Housekeeper (I have no doubt the name alone will drive you there in droves :-)

Angela at Fab Find Foodie

Give these guys a visit. You’ll be rewarded with some great ideas about food for your family. And possibly win some toys to make pie.

Susan Reid
About

Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently enjoying her fourth career after stints in advertising, running restaurants, and teaching at the New England Culinary Institute. She joined King Arthur in 2002 to ...

comments

  1. JuliaJ

    Oh, it’s not the crust that keeps me from baking pies, it’s
    1) the double work of making the crust AND making the filling
    plus 2) getting the filling to set properly AND in the right amount so I don’t end up with a little left over, or too little! (Must be me, I have the same problem making wontons, filling and wrappers never come out right and I have to dash to the store for more wonton skins.)

    I can figure out what to do with a little leftover fruit pie filling but what do you do with a a half cup of extra pecan pie filling or pumpkin pie filling??

    Extra Pecan Pie filling may be used as part of a coffee cake filling for a very gooey and sweet center. Pumpkin Pie filling may be baked off in individual custard cups and served chilled with whipper cream and butter cookies. Give it a try. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  2. 4jessad

    My mom taught me how to make pie crust when I was young using my grandma’s recipe (vinegar is one ingredient). I love to roll it out and like to believe I am being creative while doing so. One thing I can’t control though is that I have been collecting rolling pins over the last 10 years and I have the hardest time storing them! I think I could make a cherry pie too-for dessert tonite! Thanks KAF!

    Reply
  3. Rebecca

    What, no cherry juice concentrate in this pie recipe?

    A small addition of Cherry Juice Concentrate, think 1-2 tablespoons maximum, should work just fine with no additional changes. Give it a try. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  4. estrellas

    Sadly, I fall into your “Grand Canyon” category of bakers, but I’m working to gain confidence in the world of making my own crust. Maybe a cherry pie will do the trick!

    A couple of weeks ago when my grandmother was visiting from out of town, we made a couple of pecan pies. We couldn’t use all the filling and she suggested pouring it into extra ramekins and baking those along with the pies. We then spooned the cooked pecan pie filling over vanilla ice cream. Blissful, absolutely blissful.

    Reply
  5. glpruett

    Here’s a suggestion for 4jessad and her storage problem for those rolling pins:

    Try using drapery rod holders screwed to the wall the same distance apart as the length of your rolling pin. Then you just place the rolling pin handles in the dip of the rod holders and voila, you have a creative place to hold your rolling pins! Obviously, you have to have wall space in order to do this, but I can imagine a wall area about 24″ wide with rolling pins hanging floor to ceiling–what a conversation piece!

    If economy is your goal, you could get open hooks from the hardware store that are large enough to hold your rolling pin handles and accomplish the same effect with much less cost. I hope this works for you!

    Reply
  6. Rebecca

    Hello glpruett,
    Your rolling pin idea was so great, I was wondering if you might have an idea for my particular kitchen weakness – funny muffin baking pans. It seems like every time I see a new character muffin pan I can’t resist. (Of course they get used, and my two boys love to pick out the shape they are going to eat…) But, I am rapidly running out of storage space. Help!

    Reply

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