“Can she bake a cherry pie -- Billy Boy, Billy Boy?” as the song goes, and cherry pie from my grandmother Hazel Rogers is the subject of this week’s In the Kitchen.
I ran into Tommy O’Dell, a childhood friend, the other day, and he told me he would love to have a cherry pie like my grandmother Hazel used to make. He remembered it well, even the lattice top she put on the top of her pies.
My sister Gail and I started looking for the recipe and found one in a book that belonged to our grandmother, so we think this is the pie Tommy remembered so well.
Tommy, Coley and Martha O’Dell were childhood neighbors and friends, and we all lived in “the holler,” Longhollow, to be exact. The O’Dells always had cherry trees in their yard when we were growing up. Tommy has carried on the tradition and still has cherry trees. Tommy even sent the cherries with his sister, Martha O’Dell Conley, but, alas, Tommy never got to sample the pie!
We had good intentions, but the pie never made it out of the house. My husband, Kirk, and I sampled the pie I made from Mamaw’s recipe, just a taste while it was hot. Then we sampled another piece after it cooled, to see how it was with a bit of ice cream, then another to see how it was with whipped topping. Before I knew it, the pie was gone!
Sorry, Tommy. Bring more cherries, and I’ll make another, but you might want to be at the house when the pie comes out of the oven. We had forgotten how good Mamaw’s cherry pie was!
If making the lattice top, slice the top pie crust into strips. Kirk used his “leatherman” tool to weave the top, as I have never been real adept at doing that.
Mamaw Hazel’s Cherry Pie
Pastry for double crust pie (9 inches) halved and rolled out to about 1/4 inch thickness
4 cups pitted, unsweetened sour cherries
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
In saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in cherries. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.
Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom crust. Fill with cherry filling and use the second pie crust to make lattice top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.