Thursday, July 15, 2010

85 Reasons to Have Some Pie

On June 16th, our Grandpa celebrated his 85th birthday. And for anyone who has not met my grandfather, I will share just a little bit about the man. (he is the one on the left of the picture with the glasses who has the spread of pies in front of him.) He just turned 85. He still farms full time. He says it just takes him longer to do some of the things he used to be able to do. He raised three children. He has 11 grandchildren. I am not sure what the great-grandchild count is at the moment, it seems to change every couple months. He sings in the church choir. He still insists on showing pigs at the state fair every year. And, he taught me about good pie. He told me, "There are only two good kinds of pie--warm pie and cold pie."
So, for Grandpa's birthday this year, we decided to have a pie contest. Several family members brought pies and stories, and then Grandpa was given the opportunity to taste all the pies and judge. I know it was a difficult decision for him, and honestly, I don't remember what award each pie received. (He had to be diplomatic, so every pie was awarded something!)
The pie I chose to make was a cherry custard with meringue. While I know this was quite different, Grandpa once told me about a cherry cream pie with meringue that he and his friends used to order at a nearby diner while they were in high school. I tried my best to create something similar, so here it is...

3 c. cherries
2 c. milk
3 eggs
2 T. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. In a saucepan, scald the milk. (a film should form on the top) Be sure to watch this carefully to not burn it.
3. Beat the eggs lightly

4. In a mixing bowl, add the beaten eggs to the scalded milk.

5. Mix the flour and sugar together in a separate bowl. Add this mixture to the egg/milk mixture. Beat well.
6. Add the almond extract.
7. Flour the bottom of the pie crust lightly. This helps keep the crust from getting soggy.
8. Dump the cherries in the bottom of the pie crust. Make sure the cherries are not frozen and/or have been drained well.
9. Pour the mixture over the cherries.
10. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is set. Let the pie cool for while you make the meringue.
11. Top with Magical Meringue.

12. Bake at 450F for about 5-7 minutes, until meringue is a slight golden color.
This pie was not exactly what I had envisioned, but it was tasty, nonetheless. I thought it might be runny, but it actually set up very nicely. The custard was good, but it had a very distinct custard flavor, meaning you could definitely taste the egg. Everyone that tried it said they enjoyed it and commented on its unique flavor. I think the meringue made it look prettier than anything else. I like meringue, but I am not sure it really added anything to the overall flavor of the pie. All in all, if you are looking for a new and interesting way to make a cherry pie, this is definitely one to try. After all, it fits the bill for being considered "good pie" as my Grandpa claims!

1 comment:

  1. Yay, Heather's back to posting on the pie blog too!! =)