Thursday, June 12, 2008

Easy As Pie

I love pie. Cherry pie, chocolate cream pie, coconut macaroon pie. They're all my friends.

My mom baked pies regularly. My older brothers loved her cherry and apple pies. I preferred her coconut macaroon and chocolate cream. Mom also made pie crust from scratch.

Pie crusts always intimidated me. I'm not sure why but something about having to roll it out, transfer it to the pie plate and then crimp the edges just seemed daunting.

That all changed a few years ago. A family that lives in our town has cherry trees on their property. As you might imagine, they have more cherries than they can get picked so they allow others to come out and pick their own. She asked if I'd be interested. Fresh cherries for nothing more than a bit of labor? Yum. I was thinking about fresh baked cherry cobbler in the winter. She however was thinking my husband needed a cherry pie. Um, sorry, but I don't make pie crusts. She said she had just the solution -- an "In the Pan Pie Crust." Can you imagine? Well, let me tell you it's yummy and easy as pie to make. I made a cherry pie this past weekend. I'll share the secret with you.

First, gather your ingredients and a pie plate.

You'll need 1 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 T. sugar, 1/2 c. oil and 2 T milk + your pie filling. (I know, I cheated because I used a store-bought filling but the fresh cherries in our freezer are all gone until later this summer.)

Mix dry ingredients together in pie pan and make a small well in the center. Pour liquid ingredients in and mix all together. Press out evenly.

Now isn't that easier than rolling it out? Now fill with your pie filling of choice.

Rather than preparing a top crust, let's make a crumb topping. Here's what you'll need:

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. flour

3/4 c. oatmeal

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Melted butter (3/4 to 1 stick)

Mix all dry ingredients. Add melted butter until crumbly; sprinkle over pie. (Note: I don't make the full recipe for the crumb topping as it's more topping than we like. I usually do a little more than half of the recipe listed above.)

Bake in a 350° oven until the center is bubbly. If edges begin to brown too much you may want to cover with foil.

Mmm. How about that for easy as pie? Now sit down and have yourself a slice.


Amy said...

How yummy! There is a bag of fresh from the farmers market cherries in my kitchen right now, and thanks to you, I know how I am going to be using them! :D

Jenny said...

Girl, that looks yummy! My Mom also made pies, usually fruit, but she also made a to-die-for pecan. She taught me how to make the crust and a mixed berry pie about two years ago. I'll cherish the recipe and the memory.