Colonial Kitchen // Presidents' Day Cherry Pie

Happy Monday! And President's Day! If you're new to our blog, then welcome. I started this series called Colonial Kitchen back in January to learn a little history about my favorite time period, indulge myself in good, hearty food, and also discuss my own personal family history. So far, I haven't dived much more into my own family history. To be honest, I hate saying that I've been busy because you can make excuses for just about anything, but truthfully I have been busy. Orders to be filled, new art to be made, Country Living Fair to plan for, and various collaboration to work on... not to mention the weather has warmed up quite a bit, and we have started building our greenhouse!! Yes! And planning our garden, chicken coop, etc etc I can hardly breathe. I didn't realize February would give me such a run for my money; I am afraid for March. 

I figured that today of all days would be a wonderful one to share some cherry pie. Though we all know that George Washington never did actually cut down his father's cherry tree, cherry pie is always worth it, whether there's a good story behind it or not. Today isn't even Washington's birthday; his happened on the 22nd of February. The holiday was moved to be on a Monday in 1971 for the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to give workers more three-day weekends. I mean, I'm not complaining! Now the holiday is used to celebrate all birthdays of presidents past. 

Pies were the most common food to dine on in the 18th century, but not just fruit pies! The first pies were assumed to have been made of meat and cheese, creating various pasties and such. I hope to make a meat pie soon! Fruit pies weren't popular until the 16th century, and it was extremely common for most of a meal to contain some sort of pie dish when at a fine table. We also know from my bread recipe a few weeks ago that is was really common to eat your entire meal on a hard bread known as a trencher. Cherry trees were among the first fruit tree brought over to the New World when settlers came to Plymouth, Jamestown, and the like in the late 1600s. 

INGREDIENTS // 

  • 2 Pie Crusts
  • 2 cans Oregon Sweet Cherries
  • 1 can sour cherries or dried (optional)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp instant tapioca
  • 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • milk (for brushing)
  • sugar (for dusting)

RECIPE // 

  • Make your pie crusts and put them in the fridge.
  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • In a medium saucepan, stir in your cherries, sugar, arrowroot powder, nutmeg, and salt. Place over medium/high heat and stir semi-constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Stir until the mixture has thickened like a jelly and is boiling, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in your almond and vanilla extracts.
  • Divide your pie dough in half. Roll out one half and place it in your pie dish. Trim your edges to have a one inch overhang and shape how you prefer. I like to fold my edges underneath and press with my fingers. Fill up your pie shell with the cherry filling.
  • Cube up the butter and place over the cherries. 
  • With your second half of pie dough, roll out, and shape into however you would like to cover the top. I used a star pie cutter for mine. You could create a lattice if you wanted! This is where you can get creative. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. 
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is golden and the center is bubbling. Let rest for at least 1 hour before serving.

Cherry pies are really quite simple and lovely! I love the combination of sweet and sour cherries. It gives the pie a perfect tang. I hope you are enjoying your holiday, whether you are happy about our new president or not. You can always celebrate the presidents of the past! Today, I'm celebrating Abraham Lincoln and his son, who is the namesake of mine! (:

xoxo Kayla