Our group grew. My mother, never one to be left out where her children are grandchildren are concerned, came over Friday night to spend the night with Ellie and me. Mother-in-law joined us as well, and Julia's mother came to witness the festivities. So we had a nice little inter-generational group! Friends, all, who were also eager to catch up with each other's news and exchange a little innocuous gossip.
I put a pot of beef barley soup on the stove and dragged out the panini machine so we could enjoy soup and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. V, the girls and I went to work. The rest of the women sipped coffee, offered advice here and there, and generally yucked it up with a high-old girlfriend time!
Of course, we did not nearly complete our list of tasks, and we had one real disaster (I'll tell you later...maybe), but the pies were a triumph! This is one of my very favorite pies, and I must credit Sandra Lee of the Food Channel with the inspiration for this recipe, although I have tinkered with it. It is my favorite kind of recipe--simple and wonderful! I call it my "Cherry Berry Pie," and though I love it all year round, I especially love to make it at Christmas because I think the red is so pretty. Here we go (concise recipe, without the charming photos, follows):
JULIA AND ELLIE MAKE "CHERRY BERRY PIE" (Their very first pies!)
You will need piecrust for top and bottom of pie. We used Pillsbury ready-made crusts.
One can of cherry pie filling, as shown by Julia:
One package of frozen mixed berries:
Add 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken. Squeeze in juice from half a lemon and a little lemon zest (girls were fascinated by the zesting tool).
Mix it all up, as demonstrated by Ellie:
Pour into bottom crust, and top with your choice of top crust "styles." We used the decorative piecrust cutter from King Arthur Flour.
Pop in a 400 degree oven for about half an hour til the crust is golden and Voila! You have a pie to be proud of!!
Mmmmmmmm. One pie was cut and mostly eaten with our lunch (finished off later by yours truly--I'm sooo bad!). All-in-all, we had a wonderful, comforting "girlfriend day!"
Here's the recipe:
Cherry Berry Pie
crust for double-crust pie
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 package of frozen mixed berries
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
squeeze from half lemon and zest, if you like
1/4 cup sugar
Mix all the filling ingredients together. Pour into bottom crust, top with other crust, bake 400 degrees til brown, about half an hour!
And, if you add a hearty lunch, little girls and wonderful old friends/moms, you will get that warm, holiday feeling!! C