While we lived in Montana, one of my fondest memories growing up is loading up in the car with my parents and my sister, and heading to the Beartooth Mountains. With my dad’s choice of Patsy Cline on auto repeat in the tape deck, we would set out to drive over the Cooke City Pass and go snowmobiling in and around Cooke City, Montana. The ride up the pass is breathtaking and the elevation is spectacular. And with all of the fun and heights, I would always look forward to a warm slice of cherry pie at the Cooke City Cafe.
I’d have a slice for breakfast, by tradition, and it truly was the best cherry pie I’ve ever eaten. Over the years, I have tried time and time again to replicate the recipe, and as it turns out, all I needed to do was look no further than an old family cookbook. Turns out, my sweet Mama and her Mama and Granny crafted their own winning cherry pie recipe.
One of the secrets is in the crust – for the crispiest crust ever, you’ve gotta use shortening. Hands down, better than butter. Total healthy faux pas, but a fact’s a fact – for a crispy crust, shortening is the trick. Then, there comes the cherry pie filling. Last summer I shared a recipe for a homemade tart cherry pie filling, but two cans of tart cherries will work just as well. Both have their virtues.
Caroline and I spent the past snow day baking in the kitchen, gearing up for Valentine’s Day. I shared my fond cherry pie memory with her, along with this handed down family recipe. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day happy, or even to savor a slice for breakfast, here is the Cherry Pie recipe.