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When my husband and I got engaged, he had just one request of me: to spend a day with my Great Grandma Irma learning how to make her Pecan Pie.
My future husband wanted his wife to know how to make a homemade pie like my Great Grandma made.
So I arranged to spend an afternoon with my Grandma Irma.
Grandma was a short, stocky, strong woman, the granddaughter of German immigrants. Her nickname was Dutch. She was born in 1901 and died just after her 100th birthday in 2001. She wore her white hair in a horseshoe braid on the back of her head and was always in a house dress. I never saw her in pants. She would peel apples and make popcorn with hickory smoke flavored salt for my siblings and me when we would stop by. I was blessed to live just three blocks from her in a small Ozark town in Missouri.
I loved my Grandma dearly. This day learning to make pie was a gift. She was so proud to pass along her knowledge to her granddaughter. I was basking in her love and we chatted away while she shared her 90 years of experience with me.
She gave me not only pie-making skills, she passed along advice for a happy marriage. She said, “If you want to make a man happy, you need to make pie rather than cake. Men like pie better than cake.”
If you want to make a man happy, you need to make pie rather than cake. Men like pie better than cake.”
Well, she should know. Her husband passed away long before I was born, but in her stories about him, their marriage was a happy one. She never remarried.
Pie-making almost a lost art.
I hope with the younger people looking to live more naturally, wanting to know where their food comes from and wanting to learn the domestic arts, this skill will continue.
The pie in this article is a Tart Red Cherry Pie.
It’s early June in Iowa right now, and the tart red cherries on the trees are still green. But they’ll be ready soon. If you live in an area where they are ready, get some at an orchard, the farmer’s market, or off your own tree if you have them.
While getting the link from Amazon for the cherry pitter like the one I use, I saw THIS cherry pitter:
(Now were talkin’!! I’m going to have to get this cherry pitter!! ↑)
Just be sure you wear old clothes and have an old towel on hand while pitting cherries. I like to sit on the deck while doing it. There will be some splatter.
If you don’t have access to fresh tart red cherries, or don’t care for the stemming and pitting process, buy them frozen. Let them thaw and use them just as you would fresh.
I have a cherry tree and can my own cherries.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup shortening (lard, butter, coconut oil or vegetable shortening all make good pie crust. I like coconut oil)
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups iced water
Follow the instructions in the blog article Make Pie Crust 101: A Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial.
Or purchase a refrigerated pre-made crust for a 2-crust pie at the grocery store. Do what works for you. 🙂
5 cups of tart red cherries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
In a large bowl mix the cherries with the sugar and flour.
Sugar causes the cherries to release their juice. Spoon off about 1/2 cup of juice so your filling isn’t runny after it bakes.
Assembling the Pie
Cut the dough in half for a 2-crust pie. On a lightly floured surface roll one of the halves of the dough into a circle 2 inches larger than the pie pan.
To transfer the dough to the pie pan, fold it in half, then fold again into a quarter. Place into the bottom of the pan and carefully unfold the dough.
Trim the dough along the edge of the pie pan with a sharp knife.
Pour the cherry filling into the crust, spread it to distribute it evenly.
Roll the other half of the dough into a circle and follow the same folding procedure as for the bottom crust. Place the dough on top of the filling.
With your hands, press the edges of the bottom and top crust together.
Then, using the thumb and index finger of one hand, and just the index finger of the other hand, crimp the edge of the crust to create the traditional ripple on the pie.
With a sharp knife, cut 2 slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
Use a pastry brush and lightly brush the entire top crust with milk or cream. Then sprinkle the crust with sugar. This is how Grandma Irma made her crusts.
Place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The pie is done when the filling bubbles a little out of the slits in the crust.
Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for a couple of hours.
Print off one of the free Father’s Day cards below, write a sweet note telling Dad how much you love him and thank him for all he’s done for you. Don’t forget to order envelopes, a paper cutter or scissors, cardstock, even a printer if you need them! 🙂
Give him a big hug and enjoy eating pie and spending this day together. 🙂
Happy Father’s Day!
Free printable Father’s Day Cards:
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