Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My First Pie - Cherry Sweetie Pie

There's something about pie crust that scares me off even more than bread making.  I am deeply fearful of failing to make a flaky crust and the entire pie making process.  Such a loss - I kept The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum in the book shelf for so many years.

If not for Vicki (Baking with Granny),  I would have no Cherry Sweetie Pie (recipe from The Baking Bible) and my beautiful Rose's Perfect Pie Plate would stay in the box for a few more years.  Unlike mine, the one on Amazon today is packaged in a nice pretty box with a booklet written by Rose.

Vicki is absolutely right - (1) Rose's Perfect Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust is very forgiving and infallible and (2) no food processor is not a showstopper as many other alpha bakers make pies successfully using hand techniques.  

During my pie making process, my daughter kept playing the Pi (π) song.  She kept on singing "Did you say 3.14 pi (π)?"  I said "Pie!!" and she just went on, "Did you say 3.14 pi (π)?"


Since secondary school years, I carried a fear of rubbing cold fats into flour.  My home science practical finals exam was to make some jam tarts and they turned out to be a big disaster - the butter melted the flour!  I wasn't sure the cause of it then - could be the fridge in the school not cold enough, the warm temperature of our class room or I wasn't quick enough.  The cream cheese and flour for this pie turned out well - achieved coarse meal texture.  Phew!


The gallon freeze bag was the perfect thing to use when flattening the cold butter and cream cheese flour mixture into thin flakes and store the disc into freezer.


Since I used bleached all purpose flour, I tried to work on the dough as little as possible to create a minimum of elasticity.  When the mixture held together in one piece, I thought for a moment - WOW!  I made a pie dough!!


Without Rose's Magic Dough Pastry Mat,  Fast Tracks and Freeze-Tite plastic wrap, I imagined the next steps on rolling, cutting and lining the pie plate be the most challenging of all.  I considered using silpat or parchment paper but eventually used 2 large size food grade cling wrap .  They worked out very well - the dough was rolled out very easily with very little flour.  It was slightly easier than rolling out a large piece of fondant for a big tall cake.    


With the cling wrap, there was no need to lift the dough from time to time nor flipping the dough over.  I was worried that the dough would be too sticky to lift up from the cling wrap but it turned out not too bad.  Again, phew!



I could not find any empty glass bottle and so I went by the traditional hair pin method to remove cherry pits.  Towards the end, I could do it quite quickly and most of the cherries still held its shape.

The red plums were peeled, pitted and pureed.  

It did not take long before the cherries and plums liquefy the sugar mixture, and the mixture turned into luscious thickened cherry filling.


I used my Wilton fondant ribbon cutter to make even width lattice strips.  When my daughter saw me referring to page 203 for the woven lattice's instruction, she gave me a strange look and told me it was something she learnt in Year 3!  Oh well..



I was caught up with a phone call the minute I put the pie into the oven.  Although the pie was rotated after 20 minutes, there was some uneven browning due to misalignment of the foil ring after the rotation.  


I had pie for breakfast and after dinner dessert today.  The pie crust was tender and flaky.  The brilliant coloured cherry sweet filling was so flavourful, refreshing and not too sweet.  By itself, the crust was delicious to eat.  Combined together, the cherry sweetie pie was incredibly amazing!

With more practice, I hope to achieve a more flaky tender crust,  nicer looking lattices and more even baking.  After all, this is my first pie!!!  


  1. I am so happy for you! There's nothing like getting over the fear of baking something which feels so intimidating. Your pie looks delicious. Wait until Pi Day! There have been a few Alpha Baker Pi Day pies. I can't believe you have such good cooking classes at regular school. They've all disappeared in my town. Can you tell us when students start and for how many years? Your daughter is too adorable! All in all, well done!

    1. Yes - nothing comparable to getting over a fear that has been there many years. In fact, ever since the jam tart failure, I seldom use hand to mix in stuff - mostly rely on mixer. Look forward to other pies and Pi Day! During my time, cooking and sewing classes for first 3 years of secondary school (age 13-15). I was totally clueless and never like cooking / baking then. Daughter is growing fast!! Thank you again, Vicki! :-)

  2. Your first loaf of bread and your first pie--what a great month for you!

    1. Just like the saying "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" - Neale Donald Walsch

  3. I would have never guessed this is your first you've ever made as it looks practically perfect. Congrats!

    1. Thank you!! Glad to be bake along with you :)

  4. I would have never guessed this is your first you've ever made as it looks practically perfect. Congrats!

  5. Your pie came out beautiful! The first pie I ever made was nowhere near as nice as yours ;)

    1. Thanks Aimee :) so glad I joined the group and made this pie

  6. looks amazing for a first time pie great job and welcome to the group:-)