Friday, January 09, 2009

Memere's Cherry Pie

Sadly, I can't say I have many memories with my Grandma (Memere as I know her). I grew up in Asia while she was in France and I only saw her a handful of times when she would visit us or vice versa...even though we barely saw each other she was my Grandma either way and I loved her. She passed away on Christmas Eve '08 but rather than dwell on the fact that she's no longer with us I would prefer to remember the few fond memories I do have of her...

I remember how she had her favourite shows on TV at the same time everyday and she'd be right there in her chair nibbling on chocolates stashed away in the pockets of her house dress...she loved her chocolates.

She could easily get tickled by something and giggle away with glee like a little child in a candy shop...I think I get that from her...or rather my mom got that from her and I get it from my mom...so I can technically say I get it from her...

Another memory that always makes me chuckle is the time she was visiting us in Malaysia and my sister was still very young with an extremely limited French vocabulary...the little French she did know however was to tell my Grandma "Memere, tu est mechant!"...which translates to "Memere, you're naughty!"...I'm sure Memere found that just as amusing as I do.

And my fondest memory is of her baking cherry pie...she baked wonderful fresh cherry pies each time they were in season...these cherries came from the tree in my Grandpa's(Pepere) garden...the few times that I visited her in France she would bake a few pies over the span of my visit...she baked them seamlessly and I'm sure this came from her many years of experience in the kitchen...to her it was second nature to just roll out the dough and make a fresh pie...

They were tart and sweet and pure perfection...My only regret is that I never learnt the recipe.

I decided to bake a Cherry Pie on New Years Eve and dedicate it to Memere's memory. This pie is nothing like hers and it's filled with flaws...for one thing the type of cherries we get here are not the same as she uses the sour red cherries and these can't be found here(plus I had to buy frozen pitted ones)...they're also extremely expensive in Malaysia and so I thought I would have enough with two boxes of frozen cherries but this only filled the pie half way...and since it was my first time making pie dough I messed up and it turned out hard...tasty...but hard...almost like a biscuit(if anyone knows where I went wrong please let me know). In the meantime I'm going to keep working at perfecting a Cherry Pie recipe that would have made my grandma proud.

But for now with flaws and all...this is for Memere: I wish I could have spent time with you in the kitchen and learnt your priceless knowledge...Je t'aime.

Cherry Pie

Pie Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup margerine
1/2 cup cold water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in margerine until mixture forms little balls (like a bowl of peas). Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half and shape into two balls. Roll out dough on a floured counter.

Filling:
2 tapioca flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups pitted cherries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Place bottom crust in piepan. Set top crust aside, covered.
In a large mixing bowl combine tapioca, salt, sugar, cherries and vanilla extract. Let stand 15 minutes. Turn out into bottom crust and dot with butter. Cover with top crust, press edges together and cut vents in top.
Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.

3 comments:

Lorraine E said...

Sounds like you made a good attempt to recreate a homage to your grandmother. Such a pity that you don't have her recipe though and that can carry on but it looks lovely nevertheless!

pixen said...

Beautiful tribute to your Grandma! I'm sure you will made same Cherry Pie as hers. Keep on trying. It's the same with my mom too. I managed somehow to cook her recipes by memory and I tweaked the recipes until I achieved the way she used to cook us.

Patrice said...

Merci Alexandra pour cette au combien touchante évocation de maman pour moi qui ai vécu ces moments là.
Des petites choses en fait mais qui sont si précieuses à mes yeux.
Au fait, sais-tu que maman congelait les cerises pour pouvoir les utiliser toute l'année. Donc, tu vois, tu n'es pas très éloignée de sa recette ;->