Pie Just Tastes Better When Cast Iron Cookware and Coals Are Involved

Date July 12, 2009

We headed to West Virginia this past weekend, which, as usual, should trigger a handful of blog posts.

Benton is a fan of Dutch oven cooking, so we spent 30 seconds while we were planning the food for the trip trying to think what a good coal-fired dish would be. We pretty quickly got to: cherry pie! I’ve made a cherry pie in a Dutch oven once before — it was on a trip out to Big Bend some time BK (before kids), and it was quite a challenge. With that recipe, the Dutch oven itself was the pie plate. This time, we went much, much simpler — just used a pie crust mix, the Cherry Lattice Pie recipe from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (our standard recipe), and our regular glass pie plate.

Fueling the oven with coals from a fire in the yard of the farmhouse (my first batch of coals weren’t great, so it wound up taking ~30 minutes longer to cook than the normal oven time):

Dutch Oven Cherry Lattice Pie

The co-chef shows off his handiwork:

Dutch Oven Cherry Lattice Pie

And…a straight-on shot of the final dish (I actually thought to throw a coathanger in as we were packing up so that I could fashion a mechanism for living the pie plate out of the oven — maybe I am learning a thing or two as I get older):

Dutch Oven Cherry Lattice Pie

It tasted great, but, as has been the case the last 3 or 4 times we’ve made a cherry pie, it was rather runny, even after it had cooled for an hour or so. Does cornstarch go bad? We need to do some research and future experimenting.

3 Responses to “Pie Just Tastes Better When Cast Iron Cookware and Coals Are Involved”

  1. Mom said:

    What a beautiful pie! Dad, you, and now Benton go to a lot of trouble (by my standards) to make food appealing and delish. My mouth is watering for my favorite flavor of pie. If cornstarch goes bad, it would have gone bad at our house: one box lasts more than a decade on our shelf, I am sure, and it continues to thicken things. Maybe you just need to add more, or reduce the juice, or…well, that’s all I know to suggest. Maybe the more frequent baker will respond, but I bet it is via e-mail!

  2. Tim Wilson said:

    So, one other note on this — the one modification we make to the recipe, due to the size of the dish we use, is that we use 3 14.5 oz. cans of cherries rather than 2 16 oz. cans. But, we don’t modify the “sauce” quantity at all. The liquid/cornstarch mix certainly thickens up really well. If anything, I would have thought we continued to heat the liquid/goo *too long*. One site recommended tapioca instead of cornstarch, especially for fillings with “acidic fruits like cherries,” so we may try that next.

  3. Doyle Bailey said:

    That looks absolutely delicious. I totally agree about things tasting better in cast iron. We use it every day.

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