Chow Town

Cherry pie excellent exchange for services when it comes to bartering

Cherry pies make a good currency to use when asking friends and family for help. Prepared pie crusts are a good substitute for homemade ones
Cherry pies make a good currency to use when asking friends and family for help. Prepared pie crusts are a good substitute for homemade ones Special to The Star

He is 6 feet 1 inch tall with a quiet and kind disposition. Some think he is intimidating because there is no reason for small talk in his world.

His once red hair is now white, but his smile is still the same. He is my dad.

When my car breaks down or there is a leak at my house, he finds time to fix it. Always shaking his head and teasing, “When are you going to get married or find a handyman? You don’t even have to like a handyman.”

I give him a hug and say, “Thank you,” and he says, “That will be one cherry pie.” We have operated on cherry pie currency since my mom bequeathed me the recipe.

We have a precise sliding scale:

▪ Air filters equal a half pie

▪ Car service equals a full pie

▪ Flooded basement equals a dozen pies

Cleaning out my gutters? Sorry there is no amount of cherry pies for him to do this task.

We have an understanding, and it is how we say, “I love you.” No matter the exhaustion of my day, when I make cherry pie for my dad, I always smile. I’ve “chef styled” my mom’s recipe a bit. This way my dad can always love my mom’s original recipe.

I hope this double cherry pie recipe brings a smile to someone special in your life, or becomes your “I love you” currency.

Cherry Pie

Makes 1 deep-dish cherry pie

2 prepared pie crusts (let’s be honest, Pillsbury does it very well, and no one is judging you.)

3 (21-ounce) cans tart cherries, drain 2 cans and reserve juice from the remaining can

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon amaretto or almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch salt

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 egg white

2 tablespoons raw sugar/turbinado sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a sauce pot, mix all three cans of cherries with granulated sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, amaretto, vanilla and salt. Bring to a simmer.

Whisk together the reserved juice and 2 tablespoons flour to create a slurry. Add the flour mixture to the simmering cherries. Stir until the filling starts to thicken. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the butter.

Spray a 9-inch or 10-inch pie tin with nonstick spray. Line the pie tin with 1 pie crust. Pour in the filling. Cut the other pie crust into strips about  1/2 -inch thick.

Make a crosshatch pattern on the top of the pie with the strips of pie dough. Press the edges together and squeeze the crust between your middle finger and thumb and forefinger to create a crinkled edge. Brush the crust with egg white. Sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Renee Kelly is the owner of Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Johnson County. Her passion lies in changing the food system, one plate at a time. Her inspiration is Mother Nature and the many growers in the Kansas City area.