Pie is hands down one of my favorite things about Independence Day. Right up there next to children with explosives and charred meat. Half-scratch pies are fantastically easy and drool inducing, and can be made using any combination of canned filling and fresh or frozen fruit. Go patriotic and try canned cherry filling with fresh blueberries, or add some unsweetened frozen raspberries to canned apple filling. Pie filling on its own can taste like oversweetened plastic, but preparing, cooking, and perfectly sweetening fresh produce can be a bit of a challenge. A little of each evens things out and produces a juicy, perfectly sweet, nearly foolproof finish to any holiday cookout.
2 pie crusts Read labels here. Most store bought pie crusts are made with lard. If hydrogenated animal fat ain’t your thing, there are a few generic store brands and a Mrs. Smith’s version that use vegetable shortening.
1 can cherry pie filling
2 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
palmful of brown sugar
Thaw your pie crust. Arrange peach slices in a single layer on the bottom crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Open the cherry pie filling, trying not to let the corn syrup goo wig you out, and pour evenly over peaches. Smooth out the top, making sure all peaches are covered. Don’t worry, the viscous cherry goo will bubble even the worst grocery store peaches into juicy wonder.
Unless you were lucky enough to find a rollable pie crust sans lard, maneuvering the second pie crust out of its tin pan can be tricky. Just make sure your second crust is thawed COMPLETELY. Start with jimmying out the edges, then invert the pan over your filled first crust. Don’t worry if you have to recrimp the edges, your pie will just look extra homemade. Pinch all edges tightly with your fingers.
Cut several slits into top crust. Slide onto the middle rack of a 400 F oven and bake about 50 minutes or until golden. To avoid mess, slide a cookie sheet onto the bottom rack. Do NOT put the sheet directly under your pie, or the bottom will be raw.
Feed to your favorite boy and enjoy!