Baking Wrecks: A GF Cherry Pie Wreck on Pi Day

Lulu and Phoebe were willing to eat this – We weren’t!

I really do know how to make a pie.  I’ve made some fabulous pies over the years.  But once in a while a whole bunch of pies will come out of my kitchen less than edible.  It seems to happen in cycles.  And because I am stubborn, I keep going until the pie-wreck cycle is broken.

I’ve gone through pounds of butter and flour with mixed results.  Some would make better wall-paper paste than pie crust, but as long as I could stuff it into the pan – it would be baked.  Other doughs rolled out perfectly and went into the pan like a pie crust should only to come out of the oven like it was exchanged for dessert sand.

Some even felt like I needed gloves to handle it because the dough was so icky sticky, but after pressing it into the pie pan and freezing, it looked like dough.  Alas, those baked up more like peat-pots for the garden.

And then there were the others that pressed into the pie pan ok, but came out like pie-jerky.  Others disintegrated into the pie filling causing Captain Awesome to actually ask if the pie came with a crust.

These cherry pies were but two out of several.

The first pie has the adorable little flute-edged circles overlapping on the top.  As raw dough it looked quite fine.  When it baked up it looked rather like I’d made cookie dough and got distracted and attached them to the pie.  It tasted almost just like that.  We called it the lost cookie cherry pie.  After the first polite piece – it sat on the counter because it was really that terrible.

The filling was an ingenious concept of cooking up the cherries and adding liquors and other flavorings along with some sweetener to achieve some gooey filling that should have tasted sublime.  It came out more like slime.

Not only did one pie suck up 3 entire bags of frozen cherries plus three whole cans of cherries – a bunch of sugar, half a bottle of Kirsch (I am certain that is where it went) and hours of cooking.  I added cornstarch, tapioca flour, ground tapioca and it still didn’t thicken.  The last straw was to strain the mixture for about 2 hours and even after giving me more than 2 cups of liquid, it had the nerve to drop another cup of liquid the next day when I strained it once more before putting it into the pie shell.

Of course by then it was dry – too dry.  And I really limited the sugar and apparently that is not something you want to do with sour cherries.  Who knew?  It was totally inedible.

The next pie, aside from the dusty crust, was much better.  The filling was taken from the old Fanny Farmer cookbook – the book I’ve had since we were married 342 years ago.  The directions could not have been simpler.  Toss frozen cherries into an unbaked pie shell.  Toss sugar and stuff on top, cover with a crust and bake.

After cooking the other filling for three days, this seemed the ticket.  And it worked.  Great filling.  It was delicious.  But the crust, while looking rather cherry pie-like with its woven top, was another bitter end.  Or should I say dust in the wind.

Take pity on me that the pies that followed that were not quite right either, though they were looking better and the filling had gotten even better.  I’m waiting a bit to continue with more pie shells – or until I can afford more butter.

In the meantime – don’t try this at home.  Yet.

sour cherries are actually, er, sour – don’t skimp on the sweetener

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3 responses to “Baking Wrecks: A GF Cherry Pie Wreck on Pi Day

  1. Wow, it does sound like a pie disaster, I admire your perseverance! I’ve yet to try gluten free pie crust, as it kind of scares me (I’ve made crumb crusts before with gluten free biscuits that’d worked quite well).

    Good luck.

    It does look pretty, even if it didn’t taste pretty!

  2. I think if you got the crust, the filling could take care of itself. When my mother made cherry pie, I think the filling just used tapioca and sugar. Oh, yes, cherries too! 🙂 The tapioca was the little pearls, not starch. Is that gf?

    The crust is key. But you could make small batches and just cook some up without filling, like a cookie. That’s what my mom did with the leftovers. Sprinkled sugar on top before baking for very few minutes. But that was in the good old gluten days. And mom is gone now – 21 years. Boy do I miss her cooking!

  3. Laughing about the Kirsch. 🙂 That one pie sounds like The Pie Who Ate the Kitchen. I can’t believe you could even FIT all of those ingredients in it! Thanks for an entertaining “pie” pice on “Pi” day.

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