When I was a little girl, we used to go over to my mom’s parent’s house every Sunday for dinner.
I remember a few distinct things about these dinners.
- We almost always had steak.
- My grandmother put radishes in our salads and when she washed everything, the radishes floated to the top of the water.
- I got a new paper doll from my Grandma almost every Sunday. Or a bag of candy with a few dollars in it from my Grandpa. I loved these presents.
- There was always Breyers ice cream for dessert. Usually Dulce de Leche, which I loved but had no idea what it was.
- When we were very lucky, Grandma also baked some kind of special dessert in addition to the Breyers ice cream. My favorite of which was her cherry pie.
When my Grandmother passed away, I was 10. And amidst all of the sadness and hectic planning that happens after a loved one passes away unexpectedly, I remember asking my mom for one keepsake from my Grandmother.
I just wanted to make sure we had her Cherry Pie recipe.
Turned out, it was just the recipe off the back of whatever canned cherries she bought, but Cherry Pie has always held a special place in my heart because of Grandma Irmtraud.
Which is why these last few weeks, when cherries started showing up at the Market, I began craving one of those decedent and delicious pastries again.
When a girl at my favorite cherry stand told me this Wednesday that they would only be at the market for one more week, I panicked. I bought two pounds of the sweet little fruit and made a plan.
I even gave in and bought myself a cherry-pitter. (Best investment ever. $8 and 15 minutes later, all two pounds were pitted.)
And although I ran out of time so I just used a pre-made crust – Grandma wouldn’t mind – I tried my hand at weaving the crust – aka in the baking world a lattice.
It took a while, but turned out awesome.
Before we even sat down to dinner, we got a call that Suzi and James had just signed their new lease for their first apartment together – which just happens to be less than a block away from ours – so we turned the night into a celebration.
Complete with champagne and Cherry Pie.
I think Grandma Irmtraud would be incredibly proud.
PS. I used the following recipe from Joy of Cooking – of course.
Fresh Cherry Pie
Line a 9 inch pie pan with half of the crust dough
Combine in a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes:
5 cups pitted Bing cherries (2-2.5 lbs)
3/4 cup sugar
3 to 3.5 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Pour the mixture into the bottom crust and dot with
2 to 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Cover with a pricked or vented top crust or a lattice. (I also brushed the top crust with egg whites to give it that nice golden color…) Bake at 450 for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 35 and cook for 45-55 minutes more. Cool completely on a rack.