Post #478 Filling a Pie

June 1, 2016 at 8:45 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #478 Filling a Pie

Eight hundred years ago, when I was a teen ager, my mom used to get mightily frustrated with me because my eating habits were changing so rapidly and dramatically.  She gritted her teeth and bore it stoically, since my brother was going through the same process.  She lamented later that it became impossible to keep dill pickles, beef jerky, peanut butter, and cookies of any kind in the house for any length of time.  And pie filling.  Mom loved pie and she would buy cans of pie filling to stock up.  Mostly, she’d get frozen pie crusts because they were easier, but once in a while she’d “roll her own.”

I must have been around sixteen and one afternoon I was looking for a snack.  As I rooted around the pantry looking for something interesting, I spied a can of cherry pie filling.  Hmmm, I like cherries, and this did look interesting.  I opened that can up, spooned some into my mouth, and entered a summer of eating pie filling right out of the can.

I went through cherry, blueberry, apple, lemon, whatever was handy.  It was sweet, filling, and kinda sorta good for you.  I mean, it was fruit, right?

Mom went to make a pie one day and said, “I thought I had some cherry pie filling in here.”

“Oh, I ate that one day.” I said.

“What, the whole can, just like that?”  Her eyebrows reached for the ceiling.

I nodded. “I was hungry.”

She turned back to the pantry and looked around, taking stock.  “Why didn’t you eat the mincemeat?”

I shrugged.  “I don’t really like mincemeat.”

“Well, that’s too bad because that’s the pie I’m making.  It’s all you left me with.”

I didn’t eat any pie that night.  I really don’t care for mincemeat pie.

Back in that time, opening a can of any kind presented a challenge all its own, struggling with the hand operated can opening.  Electric ones either hadn’t been invented yet, or we just didn’t have one.  I always had to be very careful not to slice a finger off on the razor sharp edges.  And getting a spoon all the way to the bottom to scrape up every bit of the filling could be a treacherous endeavor.  I never thought to put it into a bowl or anything.  Just right out of the can.

I still do this once in a while.  Not long ago, when I “discovered” the tool to cut out pie dough to make hand pies, I bought a can of cherry pie filling to experiment with.  Once the can was open, memories tugged at me and a grabbed a spoon and ate a mouthful of pie filling right from the can.  Eventually, I finished the can and had to go buy another.

A few months ago, I was wandering through the store and noticed a can of cherry cheesecake filling.  I’ve loved cheesecake ever since a friend gave me some back in high school.  Tangy and sweet, I’ll eat in nearly every way it comes except coffee/mocha flavor.  I don’t like the whipped version as much, but I’ll eat it.  I prefer the dense, New York style.  Topped or not, I’ll throw my face right into a whole pie.

So I saw a can and thought “What a great idea!”  It’s like eating a pie without the fuss of a crust.  I’m not normally an indulgent person.  I held off buying a can for about a couple of weeks.

Imagine my “disappointment” when I opened that sucker and found nothing but cherry pie filling in it.  Well, disappointment because there was no cheesecake filling, but totally okay with eating just the cherry pie filling.  It counts as my portion of fruit for the day, right?  I looked at the can when I was done, and finally noticed that it said “Great for topping cheesecake!”  I’d looked at the picture, not the words, and assumed the best.

I set the fiasco to the back of my mind over the course of the next few weeks.  I wasn’t terribly bothered by it, after all.  In the course of my normal work shift, I’m all over the store, putting things away, helping customers find things, pulling recalled items, checking prices, etc.  I’ve always known that stores had pre-made pie crusts made from either dough or crumb, chocolate or graham cracker.  We also have mini-pie crusts of graham cracker.  I stopped and looked at that for a moment, a germ of an idea growing him my brain.

A few days later, I found the other piece of the puzzle.  We sell a name brand product from a famous cream cheese maker – prepared cheesecake filling!  My first thought was to just eat it by the spoonfuls until I was done.  But then that idea germ exploded.

I could put the cheesecake filling in the graham cracker crust and top it with the cherry pie filling and I’d never have to bake a cheesecake again!  Not that I’d ever made that many to start with.  Usually, I just buy them by the piece because I can’t eat a whole pie by myself and cheesecake is not universally desired in my household.  But filling a whole pie crust still presented the same problem until I remembered the individual graham cracker crusts and the freezer.

So here’s the result:

UPDATE:  I forgot to get the stuff last night when leaving the store, so I have no mini cherry cheesecakes and no pics.  But I trust they’re going to be delicious!  And freezable.


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