Friday, September 21, 2012

Food Art: Cherry Pie

Sometimes it isn't about the recipe, it is all about the act of love to create food for someone.
Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day.
Sometimes my sweet husband points to the kitchen and says, "Make me pie, woman!" ... to which of course I giggle and run to the kitchen... and may or may not end up making pie depending on how distracted I get by other shiny things in the pantry.  I do love cooking for him though. 

One of the most important parts of a pie is the presentation.  Okay it better taste good too but first impressions can make all the difference!   Little cookie cutters are wonderful for this.  After putting the top crust on, there always seems to be some leftover hanging over the edges that needs to be trimmed off.  Just ball that up, flatten it out, and make little cookie-cutter shaped pie crust to decorate the top with.  Cut slits in a decorative pattern and you have one amazing looking pie!  An egg wash with granulated sugar sprinkles, is a great touch too and makes a very impressive presentation.

Well, it came time for pie.  I had refrigerated pie crust calling to me from the drawer in the fridge.  You know, the kind you just roll out and it's already a circle?  It is two steps above the frozen pie crust in that you actually have to own a pie plate to use it, and have to use it before it goes bad.  This crust had been reserved to become a chicken pot pie but the store was out of the chicken I like (which happens far too often)... so it became cherry pie.

Something that amuses (and frustrates) me when using a can of pie filling to do a quick pie is that the directions on the crust usually say to follow the directions on the pie filling... and the directions on the can, if there are any at all, say to follow the directions given on the crust package.  These companies should communicate.  They might even be owned by the same corporation.  My directions in these cases are always found using Google for a recipe that sounds kind of close but it seems silly to have to do that.

Quick and Easy Cherry Pie

1 can of cherry pie filling
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1 refrigerated pie crust (two crusts, top and bottom)
SPECIAL: Small cookie-cutter

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Put package of pie crust on the counter to bring it to room temperature, then roll it out into a pie plate.
3. Pour pie filling into a bowl and mix in the extract.  Pour filling into crust.
4. Carefully roll out top crust onto the top of the pie.  Crimp the edges together so it looks pretty and the cherries don't leak.  Use the excess from the edges to make crust-cookies to decorate the top of the pie.  Cut slits in the crust.
5. Bake pie for 45 minutes, watching to make sure the edges don't over-brown.  (If the edges cook too fast, cover them with a ring of aluminum foil)
6. Serve pie and mumble about slaving over the stove for hours.   

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