Birthday meals are a big deal in my family - they always have been. Whoever's birthday it is gets to make the plans. I always choose to go out to a restaurant and I try to pick some place that's a little "different" - not somewhere we always visit. My sister and mom both go back and forth between going out for a birthday dinner and eating a home-cooked meal. My dad always, always, always chooses to eat at home.
Tonight we are celebrating Dad's 58th birthday, so it's off to their house for dinner. Last year Dad's choice for the main course was lasagna. This year it is fish. Could the two be more different?
Mom's in charge of dinner and I'm doing dessert.
Dad's request for dessert: a cherry pie.
Now, I am all over Key Lime Pies and I always make a few pecan and pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Heck, I even made an apple pie one 4th of July when I was feeling particularly patriotic. But other than that I don't really do many baked pies.
That changes this afternoon, though!
Since dessert was the one thing I was in charge of for the evening, I did not feel I could (in good conscience) buy a Mrs. Smith's pie and pop it in the oven. Although, right about now I'm thinking maybe that would have been a better option than the one I chose.
I don't already have a recipe I love for cherry pie, so I checked out The Pioneer Woman. No luck there. Checked out SmittenKitchen next and although she had some really cool recipes for different takes on cherry pie, there were no recipes that were going to be traditional enough to satisfy my dad's craving. At 24 hours out, that left me with one choice - Food Network.
I ended up choosing one that was creatively titled, "Cherry Pie".
Very few ingredients and seemed like a pretty straightforward process. I easily found frozen tart cherries at Fiesta... and also bought 2 frozen pie crusts. Cheating, I know, but I haven't felt really great recently and knew that rolling out pie crust might be biting off a bit more than I could chew.
The stars of the show: cherries, sugar and cornstarch
I quickly found out that those simple and straightforward directions were maybe just a little too simple (aka: vague). I mean, I really could have used a little more direction. So I just "winged it".
After cooking the filling, it had to cool before it could be poured into the crust
Every 5 minutes I've gotten up to look through the oven window to check on my 'baby'. She looks a little homely and is taking what seems like an eternity to brown. On a more positive note, I am starting to see delicious looking cherry filling bubbling up through the flower cut-out in the middle...
(Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.)
The timer just rang and here she is:
Pretty homely, huh?
It will be interesting to see how the pie tastes. Hopefully the Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla we pile on top will help out!