Enjoying: Call Your Mother Cherry Pie

I’ve decided that quilts are the common denominator of summer and fall, and since we are Day Two into fall (pause for exuberant interpretive dance), I figured what better way to celebrate this invisible seasonal transition in Florida than to haul a cozy quilt down to the beach. Comfy and warm and cozy and also bright and colorful and free. Both seasons represented well.

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Seems equivalent fractions now, but just wait until we add a few more pumpkins to our doorstep and some mulling spices to our cider and some tights to our legs.

Cozy up. We’re Enjoying…

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A few more pics from last week’s Chicago trip:

The Conveyer Belt
FYI: Letting your kids get their own suitcase off the conveyer belt? I might as well have given her the keys to my car and 50 bucks for a fun night.

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John Lennon visits The Bean.

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Birds in the Park. 
At which point I think it necessary to admit that I’ve only recently discovered that Mary Poppins was not singing, “Feed the Birds, TOPPINS a bag,” but tuppence. Because tuppence, unlike toppins, is actually a real word.

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Hide and Seek
Counting to 10 with Grace. Someone’s peeking.

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The American Girl Cafe.
The girls had never been to an American Girl store which is basically like an entire city of dolls. The lunch was just precious–little high chairs for the dolls and tiny cups and saucers served right along with the big ones for the humans.

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I ate two cinnamon rolls because Bitty Baby passed on hers.

More Summer

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These books that Nella’s obsessed with: Kiki and Coco in Paris and Lulu and Pip. She brings them to us a few times a day to read to her. The photos are so beautiful–and engaging!

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And the beginning of fall.
Our first pie of the season.

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I’ve been making this cherry pie for years with my mom. It’s a verbal recipe we share and any time either of us makes it, we call to go over the recipe (I think we pretend we don’t remember). I’m sharing it here but it won’t keep me from calling her next time I make it. And the next time. Because that’s what this cherry pie is.

Call Your Mother Cherry Pie

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This recipe is for a single crust. Double this for a top and bottom crust. I’ve actually been tripling it lately to have plenty enough dough to work with for some good crust fluting on the edge.  I roll out any leftover dough, sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on it and bake for an extra treat.

1 c. flour
1/2 c. Crisco
1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt

2 cans tart cherries in water (keep all the water from one can and drain about half from the other)
(Fresh tart cherries are great but seasonal. I use 2 cans of Oregon tart cherries–not dark–in water)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. flour

Preheat oven to 425°. Mix your filling first and set aside. For the crust, add the flour, Crisco and salt into a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry blender, press the Crisco into the flour mixture until it makes pea-size pieces. Slowly add the milk and fold into the rest of the crust.

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Don’t overwork it. If it’s too moist, sprinkle in a little more flour. When dough is well mixed, take out half (for bottom crust), form into a ball and place on floured surface (don’t be shy with the flour). To do this exactly like my mom, at this point you take the edge of your hand and karate chop the dough ball lightly a few times across to get it ready for rolling. Using a rolling pin, roll from the middle of the dough out, turning as you can so that the dough keeps a circular shape as it flattens. Sprinkle more flour if the rolling pin sticks. Continue to roll until your dough is flattened and will fit a 9-inch pie pan. To easily transfer it to the pan, slip a thin metal spatula underneath it, folding the dough circle in half and then into quarters. Transfer to pie pan and unfold. Pour your filling into the bottom crust and add a few pads of butter on top before you add the top crust. Roll out the second half of the dough mix as you did the bottom crust and transfer to top of pie. Trim off edges and pinch together the top and bottom crust with flutes. Cut some vent designs (I make a little feather) and using a pastry brush, brush a little milk on the top of pie crust and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for ten minutes on 425° and then drop heat to 375° for 40-45 more minutes, until your crust is as brown as you’d like. Let pie cool for 15-20 minutes.



And speaking of call your mother, I called my mama for some music lesson tips as I was working on this little piece for eHow this week.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Love your pictures. I cannot wait to hit that beach in a few weeks!
    Nella & Dash look so much alike. I’ve noticed that in a few pics lately. Just beautiful

  2. My grandma makes the best pies and when she has leftover dough (which she always does because that’s how we roll), she cuts it into small pieces, covers it with cinnamon & sugar, rolls them up into mini cinnamon bun shapes and bakes them in one of her many pie pans. Growing up (and now), we called them “belly buttons” and with so many cousins, we were only able to have 1-2 each and I always got in trouble for “swiping” too many. I love the name of the recipe.. it reminded me to call my mom & my grandma! And my aunts while I’m at it.

  3. Help! What is the international (I am in South Africa) equivalent of Chrisco???? I want to make this pie but we don’t have Chrisco here…

  4. Haha. Toppins a bag! You cute thang!

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m definitely going to try it! We don’t really use shortening in Australia…I’m guessing I can substitute butter?

  5. I know you have answered this a million times before but where do you get Nella’s barrettes?

  6. Extra dough with cinnamon and sugar. :) :) My mom always did that!

  7. I remember making this pie in home-ec. Did you cut your flour with a knife so that it settled?

  8. Oh, how I miss Florida. I can’t wait to go back to see our families. However I do love the cool breeze Colorado has to offer during fall.. That Cherry pie looks delicious..

  9. What?! It’s really not topppins?! My childhood just exploded. I think I’ll just pretend like I didn’t read this and continue on blissfully unaware that I have no idea what the actual words to that song are.

  10. Little John Lennon. I die.

  11. Love the photos, but what’s with the grownup feet photos? I notice those a lot in your posts. A story behind taking them?

  12. It’s not toppins?!?!? OMG you just rocked my world. I’ve been singing toppins for 25 years :)

  13. LOL, I thought it was “toppins” too! Ah, you learn something new every day…. :)

  14. Wait. It’s NOT toppins a bag?!

  15. Totally thought it was toppins too. My husband pointed it out to me one day acting all “duh” about it. I got him back when I caught him in thinking Alaska is an island. Legit – he is almost 30 years old with a college degree and he truly thought Alaska was an island because they always show it by itself on maps…. No words.

    I liked your article at eHow. The tips to encourage a love of music were really helpful.
    Our oldest will turn 5 this winter and I have been thinking of piano lessons for her in the future. I always wanted to take them when I was a kid, and it is a skill I wish I possessed. Good luck to Lainey!

  16. When I was little, my grandma would let me use the extra pie crust dough to make the cinnamon/sugar cookies. I remember being so excited because she would let me use any and all of her cookie cutters and I got to roll them out myself. I have an entire drawer full of cookie cutters in my kitchen because of how much I loved doing that with my Grandma.

  17. THANK YOU for the recipe share. I have been waiting years it seems for you to share the love. So happy. And just pulled the pie out. Perfection. Feeling blessed- thank you so much Kelle!

  18. My MIL’s cherry pie recipe is very similar but she has two additions. (One) she adds a tsp of lemon juice and (two) she puts little dabs of butter on top of the filling before covering it with the top pie crust because she says it makes this inside glossier looking when eating.

  19. Where did you get your sunglasses??

  20. Looks like a fun week was had by all! A little exhausting for this pregnant momma at the moment, but after the baby comes, I’d love to have a week as adventurous as yours!

  21. Funny you should reference The Boxcar Children. We just finished reading book #1 of the series for a book report.

  22. My daughter played the Bird Woman in our high school musical last Spring. I think I heard her sing that song 30 times and was convinced it had to be ‘two pence’ since tuppence seemed insane! Thanks for clearing it up for me!

  23. Mmm now I’m hungry! Going to try make this pie on the weekend, my husband is going to LOVE it.

    Nat Lewis
    Rocky Mountain Decals – Cute Wall Decals kids, home & office!

  24. From Australia – what is that super white , non icing sugar thing you are cooking with? We don’t have that! I think I am glad – gorgeous lady is that hyper processed trans fat, bleached white? Like super orange American cheese, your food is scaring me more than a little.!!!

  25. I can’t wait to try this! I stumbled across your blog on bloglovin and am so excited to follow it!

  26. Hi there, your children are adorable and it looks so happy of them. Thanks for sharing your story with us and I can’t wait to be a mom to take my children outside!

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