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Saturday, August 04, 2007

She Can Make a Cherry Pie, Quick as a Cat Can Wink an Eye...

Oh, where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy, Oh, where have you been charming Billy? I have been to seek a wife, she's the joy of my life, She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Did she ask you to come in, Billy Boy, Billy Boy, Did she ask you to come in charming Billy? Yes, she asked me to come in, there's a dimple in her chin. She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy boy, Can she make a cherry pie charming Billy? She can make a cherry pie, quick as a cat can wink an eye, She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

How old is she, Billy Boy, Billy Boy, How old is she charming Billy? Three times six and four times seven, twenty eight and eleven. She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Every time I think about this pie or this post, I can't get the lyrics of "Oh, Where Have You Been Billy Boy?" out of my head. Seriously. Yup, that's what they taught us a Gaffney Lane Elementary School in Oregon City. (Hmm. I do sometimes get hits from Oregon, wonder if any of my elementary school friends will find me?) I also learned how to square dance in P.E. And the worst cussing was saying, "Oh, brother," which garnered lots of snickers when I moved to Portland.

Anyway, I dunno if my idyllic childhood equates to cherry pie, but both always struck me as a bit old-fashioned. You can take your computer games and cell phones, I'll keep my childhood memories of catching salamanders in the pond, flying kites in the meadow, playing soccer and kickball and hide-and-seek with the neighborhood kids (who were all either related to me or from my hometown in Vietnam).

Store-bought pies are fine and dandy, and in busy cases, I'd even suggest using Pillsbury instant pie dough. But sometimes, I'm just in the mood to make everything from scratch - filling and crust. So since we're on the subject of cherries, ah, you see how my mind works now? I made a cherry pie. Well, not quite as quick as a cat can wink its eye, but you know what I mean. I've tried various recipes through the years and finally settled on this one because it's never failed to give me a flaky crust.

The directions below are for a normal-sized pie. I actually divided the recipe and baked two 6-inch pies. Since I didn't have any smaller pie tins, several pasta bowls served just fine in a pinch. Sorry for the lack of pictures in the dough rolling part, it's hard to take pictures when my hands are covered in flour. :P  

Cherry Pie

For pie crust, you'll need:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter or shortening
1 egg
1/4 cup very cold water
2 tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut butter or shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter or fork until butter pieces are about pea-sized. Whisk egg and water together, and then add it to the flour mixture. Don't over-mix, shaping flour into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. While the mixture is chilling, you can start on your filling.

For filling, you'll need: About 3 cups cherries, pitted
3 tblsp sugar, or more if you need more sweetness
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp flour

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and then set aside. Turn your oven to 350 degrees to preheat. Now you're ready to work on your dough. Separate the ball into two equal parts. With a rolling pin, roll ball until the dough is big enough to cover the bottom of your pie tin. Fold the dough in half, then quarter and lay it on one-quarter of the pie tin. Gently unfold until it evenly covers the bottom of the pan. Cut off any excess.

Add pie filling to pan. Add the excess dough with the remaining half and roll another big circle. You can now either lay that half on top, or cut 1/2- to 1-inch wide strips and lay them across in a lattice pattern. Instead of crimping the ends, I took more strips and laid them into a big circle as my crust.

Bake for half an hour to 45 minutes, or until crust turns golden. Serve warm with ice cream.

You can see my other pie in the background. What kind do you think I made?


  1. wow, what a great pie, can i have a slice pls hehehe...
    amm, no idea what is the other pie.

  2. Looks amazing. The lattice top reminds me of the pies my grandmother made.

  3. That is some sweet cherry pie! Love the lattice top too! Yummy! Is the other one cherry with addition secret ingredient? ;)

  4. I want some pie too!! The other pie looks like...um..blueberry?

  5. Oh, Chopsticks, you brought back so many old memories. I have not thought of that song in years.

    I sang it all the way through your post. Now I will probably be singing it all week!

    Your pie looks great.

  6. Isha,
    Sure, here's a virtual slice. With green tea ice cream. :)

    Heh, it's not a true lattice top b/c I didn't weave it in and out. But no one really notices.

    Good guess, but no.

    How are you guessing blueberry? Is there blue juice? ;)

    Oooh, I've never cooked with rhubarb before.

    I still can't get that song out of my head!

  7. Mmm pie with green tea ice cream! Yum!

  8. Amy,
    Green tea with everything is yum yum! ;)

  9. Hi WC, as per your facebook request here's a comment to let you know that the format is wonky on this page! Also I feel guilty for not having commented here before, because I've used your pie crust recipe a bunch of times and it never fails to give me an amazing pie. Thanks a lot!

  10. Dragonkiri,
    Thanks for letting me know. Argh! These formatting issues are going to be the death of me.


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