I never thought something like pie would lead people to question my sanity. But apparently declaring via Facebook that you are going to bake a pie on a day it’s supposed to exceed 100 degrees will do exactly that.
I honestly hadn’t given the weather much thought. I mean, it’s not like I’d be cooking the pie outside. And with two dinky window air conditioning units and a west-facing kitchen that does not seem to benefit from either AC unit, heating up the oven didn’t seem like it would do much damage. Or maybe this is a no pain, no gain kind of situation: if you’re not willing to sweat your [insert your choice of anatomy here] off, you’ll probably miss out on a pretty delicious pie.
And to those of you who questioned my idea of an opportune pie-baking day, all I have to say to you is this (with love): You’re lucky there are crazy people like me who will hang out in the kitchen instead of the pool, because if it wasn’t for us, your summers would be sadly devoid of baked goods.
That being said, I might have backed out if it wasn’t for the giant container of sour cherries from the farmers’ market sitting in my fridge that needed to be used. I considered pitting and freezing them for a later date, but these intensely red orbs were begging to be tossed with some sugar and tucked into a buttery crust.
Let me tell you, these cherries, and the pie filling they turned into, were so good. They truly did deserve the butteriest, flakiest, homemade crust. And I failed them there. You see, while you’re pitting five cups of cherries, you have lots of time to think. And to let those anti-pie naysayers on Facebook creep into your thoughts. Which results in a conversation between you, yourself, and your most neurotic inner-self:
Lazy Sarah: Eh, maybe I should just buy refrigerated pie dough and get on with my day.
Overachiever Sarah: Are you crazy? You can’t half-ass a pie crust when you’re working with fresh cherries!
Lazy Sarah: But if the filling is that good, who’s gonna notice the Pillsbury crust?
Overachiever Sarah: Maybe they won’t notice, but deep down in your heart, you will know this could have been a better pie.
Third Sarah Who Just Wants to Complicate Matters: Hey, did you see that recipe for Sour Cherry Turnovers?
Lazy Sarah: Oh, that could be good. I could just buy frozen puff pastry.
Overachiever Sarah: OR you could make cream cheese pastry dough from scratch…
Pragmatic Sarah: Well, we just wasted thirty minutes. We said we wanted to make a pie, so we’re making a pie. And Overachiever Sarah, do you really want to be handling buttery dough in this heat? Save your energy for the fancy lattice top.
Maybe people should be questioning my sanity.
If you think that’s bad, you should hear the argument I had with myself about buying Pillsbury versus store-brand dough. But I won’t subject you to that. In the end, Pillsbury won. And it was… fine. But I have to admit, later when I was enjoying some pie and vanilla ice cream, I was wondering how much more awesome it would be with homemade pie crust.
I’m not going to post the whole recipe here, as I followed it exactly (other than slacking on the pie crust). You can find the original recipe here: Sour Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust. It’s actually the same recipe I referenced for Nick’s Birthday Pie, when I actually made the crust from scratch, but failed to find cherries.
Overachiever Sarah was clearly not present at the time of pie cutting.
Random fact: This pie holds a special place in my heart as it was the cover recipe for the very first issue of Bon Appetit I ever received. How do I remember that? Probably because the cover is actually framed and on the wall in our kitchen.