This past Saturday the Department of Surgery Holiday party was held at the home of Joan Tranmer and Peter Brown. Joan is a Professor in our School of Nursing and Peter a Professor in our Department of Surgery.
They do all of the cooking and preparation for a crowd of 50. This year’s offerings of shrimp, sushi, roast turkey, beef tenderloin, salmon, scalloped potatoes, green beans, asparagus and salad was a veritable feast.
But the piece de resistance was the desert. Peter had told me he was going to bake a cherry pie, and in fact he baked four of them! He is an incredibly talented chef and the pie was so good, I wanted to pass on the recipe that Peter provided, along with his comments.
“… (from Peter) This recipe is from Taunton’s fine Cooking, Sept 2001 #46. Peter has been using it for over a decade. The original recipe is for a 9 inch double crust pie. I find the double crust too heavy and much less festive without the fresh fruit on top. Furthermore a double crust pie is more difficult to cook precisely the correct length of time since the entire pie is cooked as a unit . Instead I cook the pie crust separately in a 12 inch flan pan that allows for much easier serving. Amounts are for a 12 inch flan pan-these are difficult to find but the smaller pans are not deep enough for a proper pie.
CRUST-use a Cuisinart (unless experienced at making crust) 2 cups flour, 1 cup (8 ounces) butter very cold in small pieces. Mix with the blade until pieces of butter are less than 3 mm diameter. With the Cuisinart running add 1/4 cup very cold water. You may have to add a little more water if the mixture seems dry-dry crust is very hard to roll and very frustrating. Roll the crust over two overlapping pieces of waxed paper and flip on to the flan pan. A bit of crust surgery is always necessary but the crust is forgiving and no one will ever notice the patches. Bake at 350-375 for about 15 minutes until just turning the slightest bit of brown. Half way through prick the crust to allow steam under the crust to escape .A perfect crust-with no experience required!!
FILLING-9 cups frozen berries,1.5 cups white sugar, 3 tablespoons corn starch,3 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca. Mix together in a large pot under low to medium heat until it thickens. Add somewhat cooled mixture to the cooked crust. The pie is done now but is tastier and more spectacular with appropriate fresh fruit on top. Cool in the fridge for 6-8 hours. Enjoy!!”
Just a word from me about the cherries. There must have been a hundred cherries per pie, and Peter’s daughter pitted each cherry and lovingly placed them, cut side down, so that it appeared as a series of whole cherries. And the taste…incredible.
If you have a cherry pie recipe, or anything else for the holidays, comment on the blog, or better yet…please stop by the Macklem House, my door is always open.