My baby brother was in town this weekend and I knew I had no choice but to bake him a sour cherry pie. We grew up in a pie household. Every holiday, major accomplishment, summertime picnic, and birthday was celebrated with a delicious, homemade pie baked by our mom. She was the one who helped me roll out my first crust, gifted me my first rolling pin and taught me the secret to making the best pie in the world. Since we were kids my brother and I have both been obsessed with one pie and one pie only; sour cherry. I make a lot of pie and I care very deeply about creating and successfully executing wonderful and whimsical flavors, but nothing holds my heart quite like the tart yet sweet deliciousness that is sour cherry pie. Knowing it was a family favorite, my mom grew her very own sour cherries on large bushes in the backyard, bribing my brother and I into being her own personal pickers and pitters with promises of bright cherries suspended in their own vibrant juice and tucked into an impossibly flaky crust. I’ve spent my lady-baker life chasing the perfection of that pie and having my brother come to town meant that it was time to start baking.
We’re too far south for locally grown sour cherries, despite my hopeful scouring of the sweet produce at our local farmer’s market this past weekend, and I’d already used up my personal stash that I’d thoughtfully frozen last summer earlier this year, so I had to settle for canned cherries, which should have made me sad but somehow didn’t because at the end of the day I still got to make my favorite pie. I pulled the secret family recipe together from memory and in no time I had the perfect pie with which to welcome my brother to Kentucky.
Yesterday we all feasted on decadent slices of pie and slowly sipped pipping hot coffee. My brother and I grinned at each other after the first bite; it tasted like home.
This weekend Aaron and I are headed to Colorado to check out the next potential city on our list. We’ve a few specific neighborhoods on our list to check out (Baker is one of the said neighborhoods, which feels entirely appropriate), fun restaurants to eat at, meetings to take, pie competition to scope out, and family to do it all with. I can’t wait. If you have any Denver recommendations to make I would love to hear them or if you know any ridiculously wealthy pie-lovers who are looking to invest in the best darn pie shop that will ever be, feel free to make an introduction. I’m super excited for my happy homecoming!