Homemade Cherry Pie



This time last year!: Hershey Kiss Pretzel Bites 



Some people like to use their words to express love. I fully support that, don’t get me wrong! I come from a family where if you said it in 5 words, when you could have said it in 10, you just weren’t trying hard enough.

However, I have to add, sharing food feels like a pretty natural way to express my love.

For a little Christmas celebration, my boyfriend and I decided to cook a big dinner together. I had planned this far too elaborate (no surprise there), but very yummy meal for our last night in town together. So, he came over, we turned on some tunes, rolled up our sleeves, and started cooking.

In order to get ahead of the curb, and not overwhelm this wonderful guy in my kitchen, I went ahead and prepared a few elements in advance. This pie was one of them.

(You have no idea how much strength it takes to not eat pie when your entire apartment smells like it! Oi.)

We had been cooking just long enough to dirty every dish in my kitchen, and yet have no finished product when I cut my finger open on a butcher knife. Thus, all the food was abandoned for an ER run, and the pie was left untouched.

Fortunately, in between our ER visit and my very early morning flight home the next day, we thought quickly enough to put the pie in a plastic bag in the freezer, and miraculously, it lasted beautifully! When I came back in town after Christmas break, Patrick and I had one week together before classes. More afternoons than not on that cold January week, we would warm up a little slice of cherry pie and top it with a spoonful of ice cream. Reunion never tasted so good.

Just another example of using food to express love 🙂



Crust Ingredients:

(Note- to simplify your life, feel free to use a prepared pie crust. If you choose to take that route, simply skip to the Pie Directions section below)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup Crisco
  • teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 cans tart cherries in water*
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • scant ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Crust Directions:

  • Mix the flour, Crisco, and salt together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the water to the dry ingredient mixture and mix well.
  • Once the dough has formed in the bowl, sprinkle a clean and dry workspace with flour.
  • Place the dough ball on the floured workspace and need for one minute- just to ensure everything is well mixed!
  • Divide the dough into two, and then roll the two halves into balls. Lightly powder all sides, and place one dough ball in the center of your work surface.
  • Sprinkle some flour on your rolling pin and gently roll your dough into a large circle. You want the circle to be big enough to cover the bottom of your pie pan and the sides!
  • Once large enough, place the rolling pin on one end of the dough and loosely wrap the dough around the pin.
  • Quickly move the rolling pin over the pie, laying the dough in the pan as you go.
  • Press the dough into the corners and up the sides.

Pie Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set on the bottom rack (to catch any drips!).
  2. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the tart cherries, plus the juice from 1 ½ cans, with the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and almond extract. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low hear for ten minutes, stirring regularly, or until thick and bubbly (should lightly resemble jelly). Remove from heat to cool for five minutes.
  3. Pour the cherry filling into the crust.
  4. Roll out the top pie crust and arrange over the pie. Fold the bottom pie crust over the edge of the top pie crust, and crimp together with a fork.
  5. Brush the pie crust with a beaten egg white and sprinkle sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, and then lower the temperature form 425˚ to 375˚, and add a pie crust shield. (If you do not have a pie crust shield, you can create one using alumninum foil! It will help the center of the pie bake without burning the edges). Bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the juice bubbles up thickly.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool/ set for about 3 hours before eating.
  8. Optional: serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!




Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Artful Parent
  • Trouble finding tart cherries in water? Try the Oregon Fruit Products, often in the canned fruit isle rather than the baking isle.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious desserts from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below):

Simple Southern Key Lime Pie

_DSC7038 _DSC7146


There is nothing as perfectly southern and summery as a Key Lime Pie. I have been thinking about this recipe for two summers now, so I am not sure why it took me so long to post this recipe, but consider yourself welcomed. It’s fabulous!

My parents both grew up in the south. Lemon bars and key lime pies have always been a part of summer. That’s what my grandmothers used to make us, and if that’s what grandmother makes, then you know it’s a good choice.

In addition to the most delicious flavor, this pie is also quite possibly the easiest pie you will ever make, seriously. You just throw all the ingredients together, stir, bake, and eat- all of it. Thus, this pie is quite possibly the best dessert to take to any dinner party ever/ the best pie to make for any reason ever.

I don’t know why you’re still waiting. Dig in, happy eating!




  • 1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2- 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup key lime juice
  • Grated lime zest for garnish
  • Whipped cream for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix until evenly moist.
  3. Press the graham cracker crumbs into a 9-inch pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly.
  4. In a clean bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and key lime juice until smooth and blended.
  5. Pour the key lime mixture into the pie pan and spread until even.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, until tiny bubbles form on the surface.
  7. Turn the oven off and allow the pie to sit, in the oven, for an additional 30 minutes (do not allow to brown!).
  8. Chill prior to serving and garnish with whipped cream and lime zest.




Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Your Homebased mom
  • Half the photos in this spread were shot by Anna Petrow Photography. Check her out and give her some love!
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious desserts from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links below):




Homemade Cranberry Apple Pie



There’s something about being home for the holidays that makes me crave delicious smells from the oven, time around the fire, and fresh baked family-favorites.  Being home for the holidays is also one of the only windows of time in my college career that I feel like I have a moment to breath. Thus, following exams I pack my bags, sleep for four days, and then get real old-fashioned with my cooking and baking.

This pretty pie was one that I prepared for my family on thanksgiving. I have never cooked with fresh cranberries (I almost always go for the cop-out Craisin version), so when I saw these pretty red berries in the store I knew a pie was in order!


The leaf design was the result of me having the first large chunk of free time in a while, and my desire to try something knew.  You do not have to draw the leaves, it probably will not make the pie taste any better, but oooo was it fun!


I hope this holiday season that you have time to slow down. I hope you have time to try something new, like cooking with cranberries or making a homemade pie crust. I hope your days are filled with time by the fire, and that you always have enough food on your table and people to share it with.

It’s the little things.

Happy Holidays!




  • 2 pounds Gala Apples (about 5)
  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen (not thawed) cranberries
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pie crust  (store bought or homemade!)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. Rinse, peel, core, and thinly slice your apples.
  3. Stir together the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  4. Lay your pie crust into your pie pan, and press into the edges. Prick with a fork several times on the sides and bottom.
  5. Pour the apple/cranberry mix into the pie and smooth over with a spatula.
  6. Top the remaining pie crust and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Cover the pie with aluminum foil and bake at 350˚F for another 20 minutes.*



Notes and Tips!:

  • This scrumptious pie can be made with either a homemade crust or a store-bought crust.  For a homemade crust, use my favorite pie crust recipe here, and double it for a pie topping. If using a store bought crust, thaw the crust in the refrigerator, and once malleable, spread into your pie pan. You will need an entire crust sheet to make the leaf design I made, if you are interested.
  • To make the leaf design, use a small paring knife, draw the leaves into the dough, and then cut out! It’s simple, but slightly time-consuming.
  • Source: Epicurious
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other delicious holiday treats from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (recipes below)!: