It’s National Pie Day! Let’s Celebrate!

Gentle Readers, did you know that there is a National Pie Day? Even more importantly, did you know that it is today–January 23? No? How about this: did you know that there is an American Pie Council? I happened upon this website the other day and was poking around and saw that to get the pie recipes on this website, that you have to be a member. No problem, thought I, I’ll just join up, then. Yay! More pie knowledge to be had!

But then I clicked on the link for joining: Yikes! $45.00 annual fee for the “Amateur” level of membership. Whoa, the professional must pay $75.0o. Happily for the seniors, they get a price break and only have to pay $35.00.

Oh well, I sighed. I have plenty of great pie recipes at my disposal, without having to join a club like the “American Pie Council.” I just liked the sounds of it: “Hello, I’m Amy, and I’m a member of the American Pie Council.”

I can always, always use a new pie recipe. I am a pie devotee, after all. I love pie, I crave pie; I think about pie quite a lot. I am a member of the Young family, for whom the motto might just be “Pie. It’s What’s For Dinner.”

My family of origin, the Young family, takes the subject of pie fairly seriously. Especially the non-pie makers in the family. The long and lanky, stretched and always-hungry segment of the family. Last year we had 17 pies at Thanksgiving. The more sensible members of the family (i.e. the bakers of the pies) agreed that 17 pies might be overkill, for 35 people. After all, if my first-grade math skills can be trusted, that’s nearly half a pie for each man, woman, and infant there that day. We all love pie . . . but . . . that’s a lotta pie.

Pies and such at Thanksgiving.

Pies and such at Thanksgiving.

Consequently, this year, there weren’t so many pies at Thanksgiving. The number was so unremarkable (possibly, even, disappointing) that I don’t even remember it. But you know, I think that a national holiday celebrating something as sweet and wonderful and as guileless as pie is a great idea! We make a big to-do over pie at Thanksgiving every year. But any day is a good day for pie, don’t you think? A special day in the bleak midwinter to focus on pie? Yes, please!

For, you know, Pie is not just a special dessert. It is a concept. Pie is Goodness. Gracious living. Generosity. Gentility. Hospitality. Pie reminds us all that there are important things in life that take time. It is a reminder that though life is fast-paced and frantic all too often, that it is worth it, after all, to take a bit of time and spend it making something that will invariably make somebody smile and light up and feel warm all over.

I don't know about the cat, but the big smile on my son's face is possibly due to the fact that I mentioned making pie today.

I don’t know about the cat, but the big smile on my son’s face is possibly due to the fact that I mentioned making pie today. That’s a grin of pie anticipation.

Pie. It’s all that, and more.

Here’s a quote I found about pie: “ . . . a few seconds later, someone on the internet mentioned pie. I don’t blame them. It’s a good subject. But pie was mentioned and I remembered there was strawberry-rhubarb pie in the refrigerator. So I went there. And pie there was none. I suspect the teenaged boy has inhaled it. And now I cling to life and hope as best I can, because my world is dark and pieless.” –Tad Williams

. . . also . . .

“Never promise to make pie and fail to deliver on that promise.”
Kate Lebo, A Commonplace Book of Pie

So. Now that you know that it’s such an important day: National Pie Day, what are you gonna do about it? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do (surprise!): I’m going to make pie.

Aren't these just beautiful?

I sell these hand pies at our farmer’s market every summer.

I love to make the traditional-shaped pie, and I also dote on these neat handy (tehee) Hand Pies (here’s my recipe!) but today I’m going to share with you my ultra-popular recipe for Cherry Pie Squares. This is actually my mother’s recipe, and it is quite wonderful. If you need pie for a large group, and if being able to eat said pie out-of-hand is an important element to the success of the gathering to which you are bringing it, then this recipe is for you.

I’ve got a few precious quarts of frozen Montmorency cherries that we plucked from our orchard trees last summer, squirreled away in my freezer, and I’m going to use them (yay!) to make this uber-special treat, and then I’m going to share it with a new neighbor and also my ‘rents, since I’m going to their house this evening. But shhhh . . . don’t tell. It’s a National Pie Day surprise!

Here’s what they look like:

See how yummy!? And how portable!

See how yummy!? And how portable!

Here’s a close-up to drive the knife in a bit deeper . . .

IMG_5996

And here’s the recipe!

4.9 from 7 reviews
Cherry Pie Squares
Author: 
Recipe type: Guileless pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: lots
 
Eating pie out-of-hand is a singular pleasure. Make these pie squares and you will see that this statement is unequivocally true. You can change these up a bit by using apples and cinnamon for the filling, or chopped rhubarb, or rhubarb and strawberry, or blueberries . . . or . . .
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 cup + 1 Tb sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shortening or butter
  • 1 egg (separated)
  • milk
  • ⅔ cups crushed cornflakes
  • 2 Tb lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 cups well-drained cherries
  • Glaze: combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 Tb lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, 1Tb sugar, and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening.
  3. Add enough milk to egg yolk to make ⅔ cup.
  4. Mix in so dough shapes into a ball.
  5. Roll half of dough into a 15" x 11" rectangle and transfer to jelly roll pan.
  6. Cover with crushed cornflakes.
  7. Add cherries and 1 cup sugar. Roll out the other half of dough for top crust.
  8. Place over cherries and pinch edges together to seal.
  9. Brush with stiffly-beaten egg whites.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden and your family is drooling.
  11. While hot, drizzle glaze over top. Slice into squares. Eat out-of-hand-oooh! ooh! ooooh! hot! Yum!

National Pie Day!

By the way, if you enjoy all things PIE (and who doesn’t, really?), you’ll want to check out The Pie Academy, run by the engaging and droll Ken Haedrich. Once you join (and it doesn’t cost anything, either) he’ll send you some very helpful videos about the finer points of making pie. He knows so much about pie, I’d suspect that he’s got some Young blood running in those veins! He’s got lots of helpful resources on his website, too. I am a student of Ken’s Pie Academy, and probably you should be, too!

I do think it’s our responsibility to celebrate National Pie Day in whatever way we see fit, don’t you? Life is too short, after all, to deny ourselves of an occasional slice of pie. Please share this post, if you agree, and *hugs* and *smooches* from me in advance, if you do! Thank you!

🙂 <—–smiles all around

29 thoughts on “It’s National Pie Day! Let’s Celebrate!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Sophie, Oh, it is yummy! And it doesn’t take as long to make as you might think. The hardest thing about it is rolling out that big of a crust!

  1. Alana (@RamblinGarden)

    Pie can be what’s for dinner. I love (love, love and it’s so caloric…too caloric) chicken pot pie. Today, I saw a Healthy Choice (or was it Lean Cuisine?) Crustless Chicken Pot Pie for sale at Wal-Mart. Heresy! But Amy, think of those whose families never taught them to make a good pie crust (like mine). They can never hope to attain Pie Bliss. They will die one day deprived, pieless. Is it too late? Thank you for telling us about the Pie Academy. Help is on the way!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Alana, I’ll share my mom’s no-fail pie pastry recipe, if you’d like. She has been experimenting with it for, oh, probably 50 years, and it’s really amazing. I’m sure Ken’s pastry is good, too (cough) but my mom’s is Practically Perfect. I SO agree with your mention of chicken pot pie . . . pastry . . . chicken and veg . . . gravy . . . wow, what’s not to love? CRUSTLESS chicken pot pie? Isn’t that phrase an oxymoron of sorts? Heresy–indeed!!

  2. Chef William

    Amy , Amy, Amy so after only about four and half months of me showing you pictures of the warm. alas often times hot beaches of Mexico where I am hanging out while you are enjoying a live version of “Ice Age” you have found a way to get back at me. Two articles with mouth watering pictures of pie all in one day. Knowing full well that I so not have access to an oven i do believe you planned this. for shame, for shame. About one more picture of pie and I might consider leaving Mexico and heading north right now. Of course I wouldn’t consider it for long, after all, there is still February’s weather to deal with.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Hehee, Chef, ever since I read this a few minutes ago, I’ve been searching for another pie picture to present to you . . . I’m sure I’ve got more here someplace . .. I took some pictures of that rhubarb-strawberry pie . . . wait, where are they? . . . oooh! and that mincemeat pie Mom shared with me at Christmastime . . . (slapping head) . . . why didn’t I think to take a picture of that??? I hear your home state is getting plenty of snow. Nebraska has been getting NONE so I am expecting lots of the pretty white stuff in February. Wisconsin will still be white in March, probably . . you’d better stop here for a night or two to rest up before you get up there where the real Ice Age seems to be happening (it’s 5 degrees here tonight, after all, and that’s ABOVE zero, an improvement over last night’s 10 below, alas!).

  3. Monte Turner

    Amy, Amy, Amy!!! 1/2 of a pie for each person!! You know what I call that….a good start!! Pie is my favorite!! Sweet pie or savory it don’t matter!! In Lubbock Texas they make these little pies, August Pie….(a little thing from my childhood, my dad used to bring them to me and my sister all the time) they are the bombdigity!! The pies you make for the farmers market reminds me of them. Unfortunately they are only local to west Texas!! Love your blog!!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Monte Turner,
      Do you live in Lubbock, Texas? Do you use the word “Bombdigity” in real life? Do you share the recipe for August Pie? And what (pray tell) is the filling of an August Pie? All these questions (and more!) beg to be entertained! And by the way, you sound like those pie-hungry malcontents at our family dinner. You should have seen their long faces this year, when there were no 17 pies to be had . . . very pitiful. . . not pitiful enough to make any pies themselves (sadly) but pitiful, just the same.

  4. Gene

    Amy – ever made an Aronia pie? Took me three tries, but I finally figured it out. Totally delicious – kinda like a gooseberry or rhubarb pie – tart and sweet at the same time. Since I can’t figure out how to include a photo here, I’ll send it to your email address.

    Also, I have a total pie fanatic friend with whom I would like to share this posting. Is there a way I can simply forward this entry? Or another simple way to get it to him? As you know, I am old and senile and fairly new to blogs.

  5. Nickie

    Mmmm pie… I could just do with a slice about now.

    You also forgot to mention that pie is a building block of the universe, without which the planets would not spin and the human race (and their pies) would never have existed. Pie is very important.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Nickie. I like the way you think. I will embrace you into my Super Secret Pie Lover’s Society. Watch your e-mail box for more. And shhh . . it’s only for hardcore Pie Lovers. 😉

  6. Francene Stanley

    The trouble with a sloppy slice of cherry pie is that you couldn’t eat it in your hand. But of course, that wouldn’t deter anyone with a longing for sweet food to slice a slice onto a plate and savor every mouthful. You don’t need to be on any fancy committee to share your generous heart via your backing skills. I can smell aromas coming from your kitchen now. Even though I wouldn’t normally eat it, I’d graciously accept your pie.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Francene,
      If I ever make it to England again, I’ll show up at your door with a pie in my hands, and we can share it with a cup of tea. Sound good?

  7. Mari

    Amy, I have spent the week trying to figure out some kind of pie that I could take to a HAM dinner day. What would guys like? Well, you just found it for me. I will head down to the store for some cherries (frozen, I guess, since I don’t have any of my own) and make this up today. It is just perfect.

    Now if you would kindly post your mom’s perfect pie crust, I would be in heaven (well, I hope not literally)! My Mom sent me her perfect, no-fail pie crust and I had no problem with it for years. Then suddenly it just didn’t work anymore. I figured one of the ingredients must have changed to make such a difference. Anyway, now I am on a quest for a new no-fail pie crust!

    Thanks, Amy, for always giving me a special time of day when I can sit down and savor your blog. Love it!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Mari,
      Now that is ironic. My mom spent last summer working on a new perfect pastry recipe, because suddenly her recipe (used for years and years) no longer satisfied her. She reckoned that something changed in her ingredients. But she has a new recipe now, and I WILL share it . . . but I’ll have to wrestle it from her first . . . 😉

  8. Shirley @ Intelligent Domestications

    My goodness! This post is completely full of wonderful information. I Pinned your fried pie recipe to my Dessert board and intend to try to make those, they look yummy!
    Have you ever tried Buttermilk pie? My husband used to purchase it from the deli where he worked many years ago. It is really good too!
    I see from the Thanksgiving pie table, there are some clear favorites among family! LOVE that picture!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I think I’ve tried buttermilk pie, Shirley, when we lived down in Arkansas. Is it a Southern thing? I remember that it was very tasty!

  9. Peggy Nolan

    If it’s possible to love and hate a blog post at the same time – this is it. I LOVE pie. And I’m starving. I should have eaten breakfast BEFORE reading. Oatmeal vs. pie. Oatmeal wins but it is a clear loser. Pie and I have an agreement – I will seek out my favorite slice of pie, cut it in half and eat it when I hit my first milestone in my weight loss journey 😉

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Peggy,
      I hear you. I’m trying to lose a bit of weight, too, and doing it with those cherry pie squares in the house is not POSSIBLE!! Argh!!

  10. Joanna Sormunen

    These pies look absolutely delicious! And I agree, pie isn’t just delicious to eat. It’s a concept, it’s a way of life, it’s like saying I love you to many people. Thank you for the post. I pinned your pie recepy and hopefully will enjoy it at home soon.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Joanna, I like that: “It’s like saying I love you to many people.” At least 8–depending on the size of the pie! 😉

  11. Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    Every day is pie day. I make a chocolate pudding pie (when I am eating dairy), apple pie (with Fuji, Granny, and Rome), blueberry (and blueberry/blackberry combo) pie, pear pie (Bosc and Anjou mixture), and even a July 4th (red- raspberry, blue- blueberry- and white (cream cheese) for my son’s birthday…
    And, I also don’t see the value of providing $ 75 to anyone to let me share my counsel… They need to pay me!

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