|“Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy? Can she bake a cherry pie, charming Billy?”|
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother…. is poor Billy’s lament. She can, however, bake a cherry pie quick as a cat can blink an eye! (Click on above link to hear the song; guitar chords included.)
I was just minding my own business. I had stuck the hot cherry pie on a rack on an empty shelf in a kitchen cupboard. A good place to cool pie if you have two golden retrievers. (I made four different pies for Thanksgiving; everyone deserves their favorite once a year. I’m convinced. Cherry is my sister Helen’s favorite. Hence “Helen’s Cherry Pie.” Also my loved “niece,” Kathy’s.)
|Tucker up front in the kitchen, Gabby retreating into the dining room.
So: I leave that shelf open (no mean feat) for all kinds of things I don’t want them to nose into. Such as cheese coming to room temperature. Muffins waiting for breakfast. Unthawing casseroles. There’s one thing about a pie on that shelf, though. It must be on a rack to cool evenly. My rack is large. Sticks out of the shelf. Which was no problem until my arm reached up there to automatically close the cupboard. I almost killed myself ( I have the long scratch and bruise to prove it.) trying to catch that $%f**#@(^& pie before it crashed and burned all over my cement counter. In fact, it happened so swiftly that Bruce Lee couldn’t have managed a save. Alyce hadn’t a prayer.
I could have cried; instead I yelled and screamed bringing Dave up out of the family room yelling, screaming (and cursing), too. He didn’t know what happened, but he was getting ready for outrage as he slammed up the stairs.
Now the first thing that happens is not the realization that you have time to bake another one. I really didn’t, but would get up very early and manage it. “Dame, get up and bake your pies, bake your pies, bake your pies….” The first thing is pure unadulterated anger. Let’s be honest: I was, in the vernacular, pissed off royally. What the hell was that pie doing smashed on the counter? Pies belong on plates, cut into large, luscious slices or tiny little slivers, depending on who you are. They don’t belong in a big heap crushed and splattered. (Luckily the pie plate was intact.) Dave, on the other hand, calmly crossed the kitchen in one giant leap and returned….
with a spoon.
Who’s going to throw a fresh cherry pie away? First he tried a little bit on the spoon and reported:
Really good crust, though I like yours better. Just enough sugar and not too much almond extract.
Next he claimed a big bowl and scooped it all in as he finally realized he wouldn’t have to share this pie at all. Even if I made another one, this one was all his. And he didn’t care if it was in pieces. Men are not about appearances when it comes to pie. My sister, however, for whom the pie was baked, would have cared a lot. She wanted a whole gorgeous, intact pie; I knew this well.
What I kept thinking about was Cherry Pie Parfait. Scoops of deconstructed cherry pie layered with big dollops of whipped cream. In a Bordeaux glass. Why not? I was a lovely thought. (When life gives you lemons…)
|The pie before its fall–made with Dorie Greenspan’s basic crust.|
Starting over early the next morning:
This version made with my all-butter and sugar-free crust, which I decided I liked better.
|Every picture tells a story, don’t it?|
helen’s cherry pie–try not to drop yours
makes one 9 inch pie
- 2 2/3 cups unbleached white flour
- 2 teaspoons finely ground sea salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces or two sticks), very cold or frozen—cut into pieces about 1 tablespoon (1 ounce) each
- ½ cup (4 ounces) ice water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Make the pie dough first:
Make the cherry pie filling and set it aside:
Roll out the dough:
Put the filling into the bottom crust:
Roll out the second crust and top the pie with it:
Bake and cool the pie:
Sing a new song; bake two cherry pies,