Cherry Pies Ought to Be You

Take aways: Frank Sinatra likes cherry pie, I need to plant a cherry tree, and it’s us vs. the birds?

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

Ok, so there’s this song that you might not know about but that you really need to know about. It’s a duet sung by Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney, and when I first heard it I just!!?!? Does it get any better than these two?!?

The duet is called “Cherry Pies Ought to be You,” and it basically consists of each trying to out-do the other with compliments. They get competitive. It’s grand.

Sinatra’s first go is the song’s title, “Cherry pies ought to be you,” and I just adore that. (I love Clooney’s response, too: “Autumn skies ought to be you.”) Although I guess the meaning could be kind of ambiguous. Like is he saying she’s sweet? Flaky? (I’ll stop.)

I’m choosing to see it this way: Sinatra must think cherry pies are outstanding, but not quite as outstanding as Rosemary Clooney.

Don’t we all.

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

Cherry pie holds a special place in my grandpa’s heart as well. He mentions it in a collection of food memories he wrote a few years back. (Sound familiar? He helped inspire memo2munch’s new format!)

“My mother was a wonderful baker,” he writes. “One of her specialties was cherry pie made from the tart cherries that grew on five cherry trees in our own back yard. When the cherries were ripe, my father picked loads of them which my mother made into pies, cherry slices, and also compotes.”

There’s a common theme among recipes that use tart cherries: “[They] required the use of much sugar, which when combined with the tartness of the cherries resulted in the most tantalizing pastries and compotes.” (common theme #2 —-> I want all of them in my belly.)

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

The cherry tree tradition was continued when my mom was growing up. She told me, “We also had a cherry tree in the corner of the backyard. Every spring, the cherry tree would fill with white blossoms, which turned into red sour cherries in the summer.”

However, my mom also remembers some unexpected cherry competition. “Every year, we would hope for lots of cherries so that my mom could make cherries preserves and a pie or two; and almost every year, the birds would get to the cherries before we did. Have you ever seen a pit attached to the stem, growing on a tree? We had a lot of those.”

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

On rare occasions, my mom said they would beat the birds to the spoils and were actually able to use some of their own cherries! “I remember my mom making cherry preserves. I would stand at the sink and pit the cherries using a paper clip. My fingers would turn red (my favorite color) from all the cherry juice.”

Ok, wait, pitting cherries with a paper clip? Yep, it’s a thing! Here’s a YouTube video to prove it.

I have to ruin the magic of these memories and tell you that I did not pit the cherries for today’s pies with a paperclip. I bought pre-pitted and frozen cherries and stood in the checkout line very pleased with the time and juice-stained fingers I would save. (I also bought the piecrust. Because honestly, I can’t pit cherries, make piecrust, and still pass survive biochem. These are my limitations. Just keeping it real.)

However, I then realized I had to halve all the cherries… So I got frozen fingers instead. It’s fine.

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

Pleasepleaseplease send me some of your food memories! Preferably fall-themed as we are officially in the season. You can submit them anonymously or not right here. 🙂

Mini Cherry Pies
(makes 6 mini pies or 1 standard double crust pie)

Ingredients

1 pint or 3-4 cups pitted and halved cherries (I used frozen)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (1 cup if using tart cherries)
Dash lemon juice
Piecrust (premade or homemade—enough for one double crust pie)
Milk and sugar for brushing and sprinkling pies before baking (optional, I used coconut milk)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C. Lightly grease 6 muffin tins.

2. Combine the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
Roll out the pie dough and cut into six 5-inch circles and six 3-inch circles. (I placed bowls on the dough and cut around them.) Prepare the pies one at a time by first pressing one of the larger circles into the tin, leaving the edges hanging around the outside. Fill generously with cherry filling so that it extends a little higher than the top of the tin. Cover the filling with one of the smaller dough circles, and crimp the leftover edges of the first dough circle as desired. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

3. Use a fork to prick holes in the top of each pie. Brush each pie lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes for small pies, 40-50 minutes for a standard 9-inch pie. Let cool completely before cutting.

Mini Blueberry Cornmeal Pies (Vegan) & Making Pie Crust EASY!

OK SO I COULDN’T WAIT.

I couldn’t wait 4 hours for a slice of pie like I was supposed to, cuz of the whole *letting the filling set* and all that.

But that’s just what happens when you take the pies out of the oven at like 8 PM and they’re so mini and corny and blue that there’s no way you’re waiting till midnight for a bite. I mean, I waited like an hour so that should count for something. Long story short, my filling ran allll over the place. The plate, the table, my face. But it sure does thicken up nice if you give it a chance. (No regrets)

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

Vegan Blueberry Cornmeal Pie | memo2munch

I know a lot of people worry about making pie crust from scratch, but I learned a new technique that makes it SUPER EASY.

Use a food processor.

So easy. And you get flaky results EVERY TIME, no matter what fat you use.

A chef named J. Kenji López-Alt created this method, and you can read all about his food-sciencey reasons why it works here if you feel so inclined. Then if you’re like me, you’ll swoon & decide this is the man you are going to marry. (But don’t actually do that very last part k thanks)

Also, it turns out bae has a cookbook coming out on September 21st! It’s called, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. How serendipitous. Not that this was news to me, or anything. We are engaged after all.

As a final ode to summer, I used one of her greatest berry triumphs for these pies, along with a sprinkle of cornmeal in the crust ’cause why not? That texture. Give ’em a try 🙂

Blueberry Cornmeal Pie
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For the crust
  1. 1/2 c. cornmeal
  2. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  3. 2 tbsp. sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 10 tbsp. vegan butter or shortening (can use regular butter if desired), cut into small pats
  6. 3-4 tbsp. ice water
For the filling
  1. 2 pints blueberries (about 4 cups), fresh or frozen
  2. 1/2 c. sugar
  3. 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  4. 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  5. vegan buttermilk, for brushing (optional, can be made mixing 1/4 c. vegan milk and 1 tsp. lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. Make the crust: In the body of a food processor, or in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, 1.5 cups of the flour, all of the sugar, and the salt and pulse/whisk briefly to incorporate. Scatter the butter pats evenly over the surface and pulse/cut until no dry flour remains and dough just begins to collect in clumps, about 25 pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp. of the water and fold and press the dough using the spatula until the dough comes together to form a ball. Add another tablespoon of water if necessary. The dough won't be crumbly, like normal pie dough. Don't worry!! Divide ball in half. Form each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/ 190 degrees C. Let the dough stand at room temperature for ten minutes before rolling it out to 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer the dough from one of the balls to your pie pan of choice and trim edges.* The other ball will be used for the top.
  4. Make the filling: In a bowl, stir the blueberries with the sugar, flour and lemon juice, lightly mashing a few berries; scrape into the prepared pie crust. Brush the overhanging pastry with water and carefully set the top crust over the berry filling. Press the edges of the dough together and crimp decoratively. Cut 4-5 slits in the top crust. Brush with buttermilk if desired.
  5. Bake until crust is dry and lightly browned all over and fruit is bubbling. This will vary depending on the size of your pie pan. My 5 inch pans took about 40 minutes, a regular pie will likely take at least 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for at least 4 hours before serving so the filling can thicken up.
Notes
  1. *Leftover dough can be rolled out, brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, cut into squares, and baked in an oven until crispy to make pie crust chips. Don't waste that dough!!
Adapted from Serious Eats
Adapted from Serious Eats
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF)

Helloooo, have I got a treat for you today in the form of a hearty and filling veggie wrap! Not quite cookies, (those will come next week 😉 ) but if you’re looking for a delicious way to eat more nourishing foods this new year, I’ve got your back.

That reminds me, Happy New Year! Is it too late to say that? Yes? Well, ya see… I’m back in the Bloom and starting spring semester classes, which means it actually feels like more of a new year now because SUDDEN CHANGES. That’s what I always expect from the beginning of a new year, anyway.

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

Real-Life New Year’s happens right splat in the middle of winter break for me, and things don’t really change much between December 31 and January 1, if you know what I mean (see: wearing pajamas and fuzzy socks all day and not going outside. What are shoes?).

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

But then winter break/vacation ends and we go back to school/work, and I’m all, “Wait I still need to buy textbooks, also I remember what shoes are now and I would like my fuzzy socks back please.”

Then there’s the whole internal clock adjustment phase. Molly’s stomach is convinced that Molly still has Italian class from 11:15-12:05, and so decided that she really should have lunch at 2:15 when class gets out even though she already had lunch before class began.

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch
Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

The problem is I could really get used to that. You are a PERSON, Molly, NOT a hobbit! Remember that!

You know what else is a big change when you’re back at school/work/the outdoors?

People. So many people. Oh man. And lots of people means GERMS. YUCK-EE.

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

I realize that germs are an unavoidable fact of life, and that some germs are good (here’s looking at you, gut bacteria). I also realize that I have some germophobic tendencies (It’s true). However, I’d have a much smaller issue with germs if people were more careful about spreading the nasty ones around. Just cough into your elbows and wash your hands, humans of the world. I beg of you!

In the spirit of taking all precautions, today’s recipe has a little immune-boosting element: garlic!

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

In addition to warding of vampires–and anyone within a very immediate proximity for that matter–raw garlic has long been thought to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral abilities. Even Harvard Health admits that “in laboratory tests, researchers have seen garlic work against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.” It goes on to say that there haven’t been enough well-designed studies done with humans to make any strict conclusions, but it’s still a mighty concession! There’s rarely a study done that can nail down conclusive causes and effects when it comes to our health because it is affected by so many things!

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

So whether you’re into natural remedies or ya just love garlic (or both), enjoy a healthy, adorable, delicious, nutritious wrap!!! See you next week for COOKIEZ (balance, amiright?)

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wrap with Hummus & Avocado (Vegan & GF) | memo2munch

Immune-Boosting Veggie Wraps with Hummus & Avocado
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 c. dried brown rice or other grain (I used a brown rice medley from TraderJoe's)
  2. 4 small corn tortillas, or 2 regular-sized corn tortillas*
  3. 3-4 tbsp. hummus, flavor of your choice
  4. 1-2 cloves raw garlic, finely chopped
  5. handful or two of spinach
  6. 1/2 avocado, sliced
  7. salt & pepper to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the rice according to the box instructions. Once the rice is cooling, prepare the wraps.
  2. Briefly warm a tortilla in the microwave. This will help it fold without tearing. Spread with 1-2 tbsp. hummus--depending on the size of your tortilla--in a vertical line in the middle of the tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/2-1 clove chopped garlic, again depending on the size of your tortilla. Top with a bit of spinach.
  3. Add some rice on top of the spinach, being careful not to add too much rice or the wraps won't close. Finish with some avocado slices, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper if desired. Beginning at one side running parallel to your line of ingredients, tightly roll up the wrap. Secure with toothpicks.
Notes
  1. Make sure your tortillas are 100% corn with no wheat flour, or they will not be gluten free.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Mini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free!)

Talk about an alliteration in cookie form. Whewwww-ie!

Mini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF!) from memo2munch

Soo, it used to be that when people would ask me what the one thing they should bring to college was, I would struggle with an answer.

“Uhh… I don’t know. A backpack? Clothes? Wait, that’s plural. Well, you’re going to need more than one thing, anyway.”

BUT NOW I have a definitive answer.

A pair of rain boots.

Mini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF!) from memo2munch

Yes, rain boots are a must. Take it from someone who went through most of last year without them.

I always thought that as soon as I got rain boots it probably wouldn’t rain anymore so, really, what was the point? However, while I was trying to play reverse psychology with Mother Nature, there was no shortage of water in Bloomington.

Mini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF!) from memo2munch

And ya can’t just skip class because your feet get soaked. So I caved and bought the boots, and I ended up using them. A lot. Moral of the story: don’t follow my examples. Except when it comes to recipes. Cuz you’re gonna want to make these cookies, I promise!

Mini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF!) from memo2munch

I’m bringing the whole rain boots ordeal up because the past couple of days the sky has been spoutin’ water, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying splashing through puddles in my rain boots, having myself a little Gene Kelly moment. If anything, get the rain boots for that!

Then you can have some mini alliteration cookies, and your day will be PERFECTION.

Mini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF!) from memo2munch

 

GF Mini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 20
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups almond meal
  2. 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life dairy-free chips)
  3. 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  4. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  7. 1 egg
  8. 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  9. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together almond meal, dark chocolate chips, coconut, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat egg until uniform in color and doubled in volume.
  3. Whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or even overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, place on baking sheet with 1-1/2 inch space in between each. Press down slightly to flatten a bit.
  7. Bake until edges begin to brown, 7-10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen via Minimalist Baker
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Blueberry Hand-Pies of Cuteness

It feels awesome to be posting a recipe again! It’s been how long? About a month I think.

Woooow.

Blueberry Hand-Pies | memo2munch

It’s crazy that life can get so busy and hectic in ways you least expect during the summer. I mean, it’s SUMMER. In my brain, that equals a 0 on the scale of hecticity. (Ooh, I’m proud of that one.)

But life doesn’t always see things the same way we do.

As far as blueberry hand-pies are concerned, however, I think life and I are on the same page. Because there’s only one way to see a blueberry hand-pie. And that’s two seconds before you devour it/the whole pan.

I didn’t see anything. 😉

Blueberry Hand-Pies | memo2munch

Anyway, I made these a really long time ago, and I’ve been waiting to share them in all their mini, juicy, portable, delectable, adorable, VEGAN, blueberry glory.

YEAH, I SAID VEGAN! But don’t ignore the rest of the sentence. It’s all important. I mean come on, they’re portable. They can go with you anywhere. No hand-pies left behind. Now that’s a campaign I can get behind.

I don’t believe in adding a bunch of crazy ingredients to make something vegan. I like simple substitutions, and the majority of the time that’s all it really takes. In this recipe we’re taking the fat and replacing it with coconut oil.

Coconut oil in pie crust = 110% A++

Much healthier than shortening, much more vegan than butter, and much more tropical-sounding than any vegan butter substitutes.

Plus the outcome is DELICIOUS.

Also, I think the hand-pies look like mini crescent moons, and I can’t get over it. Mini. Crescent. Moons. Look at that moon-shaped juice outline.

Blueberry Hand-Pies | memo2munch

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Vegan Blueberry Hand Pies
Yields 7
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For the crust
  1. 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 c. coconut oil, solid
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. 1/3 - 1/2 c. ice water
For the filling
  1. 2 cups (285g) blueberries
  2. zest of 1 lemon
  3. 1/4 c. (50g) sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
  5. Vegan butter for wash (you can use a whisked egg white instead if you want, but it won't be vegan)
  6. Coarse/turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Instructions
  1. Make the filling: Toss the blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line an edged baking pan with parchment paper. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add coconut oil and use a pastry cutter or a fork to incorporate the oil until you have a crumbly mixture. Add the water, bit by bit, until dough begins to visibly come together. Small crumbs here are fine, just make sure the dough will stick together when you form it into a ball.
  3. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 5-6 inch rounds. (I used a small bowl with a fairly sharp lip to cut mine.)
  4. Place a large spoonful of filling onto one half of each round, being careful to leave room around the edges to seal.
  5. Wet your finger and run it around the edge of one round. Then fold the round in half over itself to create a half-moon shape. Use a fork to crimp the edges of the curved side together. Repeat with remaining rounds. Use a small knife to cut two small vents in each pie. Transfer the pies to the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Melt the vegan butter in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Brush the tops of all of the pies with the butter, then sprinkle generally with the coarse sugar.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown. Let cool slightly before removing from pan to avoid breaking the pies.
Notes
  1. Don't skip the parchment paper! You will have a giant mess of a pan to clean later if you do!
Adapted from Completely Delicious
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/