I have been away from baking for months. First it was my new job; building my practice took time and energy, and I treasured what I had left to recharge. Next, five months ago, I embarked on a diet that has been very successful, but that limited my choice of food. I just couldn’t bake what I couldn’t eat, it wasn’t enjoyable, and baking had lost its therapeutic magic.
Then it came this weekend. My daughter graduated from high school, and my younger son graduated from middle school – two important milestones that, even in a COVID world, deserved a celebration. So we gathered with our close family and threw a little brunch in our backyard.
As always, I asked my kids what they would like to have for dessert, and they both came up with their favorites. But I didn’t stop there. I then started wondering about what my in-laws would enjoy. Please, understand that we hadn’t hosted a gathering for months so the prospect of baking something that would please each guest was just very enticing.
Within a couple of weeks I planned, prepared, and baked. Pie and tart crusts were made in advance, and today everyone enjoyed their desserts – and some took them home too! In later posts I will share the recipes for the other baked goods, but this post is dedicated to my father-in-law’s favorite pie: Cherry Pie, gluten-free version.
I had never baked a cherry pie before. I own a few cookbooks on pies and tarts, so I looked for the best combination of all the recipes I could find. I discovered that a couple of recipes called for Clear Jel, and I decided to try it instead of cornstarch. Unfortunately, even after 20 years of being in the United States, I still think in metric, so I didn’t realize that I was buying 1.5 lbs of it … thank goodness I really liked the way it worked, leaving the filling less cloudy and not at all runny; Clear Jel is actually modified cornstarch. I also decided to do it right and use fresh sweet cherries, and so I bought a cherry pitter. My trash can looked like a massacre had just occurred, with all red splatters. I confess, I am a fan of the CSI series. Then I halved all the cherries to make sure that I had eliminated all the pits – which I recommend, since I found two that I had missed.
Finally, ready with my infallible double pie crust I made my father-in-law his cherry pie, gluten-free. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.