Friday, November 9, 2012

Kansas City Bed and Breakfast and Pie

Cherry pie is my favorite.  I love cool cream pies in the summer, enjoy a slice of pumpkin around the holidays and indulge in my sister-in-laws boysenberry pies with abandon.   But cherry is my favorite.  Each year for Thanksgiving and Christmas my mom would make two cherry pies.  In my heart, I always felt one was for me and the other was for the rest of the family to share.  I feel she told me that on more than one occasion but that opens a can of worms not intended here.  Not only were my mother’s pies delectable but the effort she put into her lattice top made them a work of art in my mind.
So, imagine my delight when, on a recent trip to Door County, Wisconsin I discovered myself in the cherry capitol of the world.  Cherry pie for dessert, a standard with the world famous fish boil at the White Gull Inn, cherry strudel, and the Blacksmith Inn’s legendary oatmeal cherry cookies.  All were delicious but the real treasure is the quarts of jarred cherries I brought home to use in the cherry pies we will make for our Pie Festival this year, a tradition at Southmoreland on the Plaza going on 13 years.  Lovingly packed and painfully lugged in my suitcase these jewels will be thickened, spiced, poured into a pastry shell and topped with the not so perfect lattice I attempt to replicate each year.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
With Thanksgiving around the corner you may want to try this guest favorite:

Cherry Pie
2  9-inch Pie shells
2 cans Red tart cherries, pitted
1 ½ c Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
4 Tbs. Cornstarch
1 Tbs. Butter
1 tsp. Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drain cherry juice into a saucepan.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch and add to the juice.  Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add cherries, butter and almond extract.  Place one pastry sheet on the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.  Pour in the cherry mixture.  Cut the remaining pastry into thin strips (approximately ½ inch wide) and place on top of pie forming a lattice.  Crimp edges.  Bake for 45-55 minutes until crust is golden and filling begins to bubble.  If edges start to brown too quickly, place strips of aluminum foil around the perimeter of the pie to cover the crimped edges.

Mark Reichle and Nancy Miller Southmoreland on the Plaza