Coming from personal experience, eating too many cherries in one sitting can wreak havoc on your gastro-intestinal system. I experienced this first hand when I found myself, left to my own devices while AJ was gone on the AIDS Lifecycle, devolving into a bachelor lifestyle. On more than one occasion, I found myself eating an entire bowl of cherries for dinner. And on more than one occasional I found myself extremely uncomfortable. Damn my lack of self-control.
In an effort to curb my cherry intake, after going on a recent cherry buying binge, I found myself in the kitchen determined to bake with the cherries in my fridge, instead of just eating them out of hand. My theory: I’m much less like to devour a whole pie in one sitting than a giant bowl of cherries in one sitting. I decided I needed to put this theory to test. I found myself baking up a Cherry Blueberry Oat Cookie Pie Crisp.
What, you may ask, is a Cookie Pie Crisp? Quite simply it’s the crust from Christina Tosi’s Crack Pie, repurposed for a cherry blueberry pie, with a little bit of the crumbs doing double duty to top the pie, creating the perfect marriage of sweet, crunchy crisp like dessert, all in the form of a pie.
I had this pie in mind when I was in the lobby of hotel chatting away with pie royalty, Kate McDermott; I adore Kate and bow down to her deep and immense knowledge of pie. As the topic of pies came up (how could it not?), she told me a bit of trivia that surprised me. Apparently the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that to be a true pie, the baked good needed to have a top and bottom pastry crust. All other baked goods were tarts. I hung my head in shame, thinking of my creation.
In the end though, I realized that I am not a purist and enjoy an apple crumb pie as much as the next guy. The Cherry Blueberry Oat Cookie Pie Crisp may not “technically” qualify as a pie, but in my heart of hearts it is as much of a pie as it is a crisp, full of nutty oats, cinnamon spice and buttery goodness. True, pie purist may be horrified by the creation, but hopefully they will reserve judgment until they taste this dessert creation. Either way, no matter what you call it, this baked good definitely tested my theory as I could see someone sitting down and eating an entire pan all at once. I’m going to guess though, that the gastro-intestinal discomfort would be just as bad as eating the same amount of cherries straight from the bowl.
This coming Saturday, June 15th, I’ll be co-hosting the 18 Reasons‘ DIY Dessert event with the theme around Pie! From 2pm to 4pm people from all of the bay area will be bringing homemade pies to share with everyone. Stop by and say hello, bring a pie or just a hearty appetite! Hope to see you there!
Cherry Blueberry Oat Cookie Pie Crisp
By Irvin Lin
This recipe might look a little fussy because you have to bake a cookie and then crumble it into a pie crust and topping but it’s not as hard as it seem and significantly faster than a double crust pie. Instead of making a pastry dough and letting it rest in the fridge for the gluten to relax and the fat to chill, you make the cookie dough and while it cools on the pan you cook the filling on the stove. After a quick crumble of the cookie crust, a fast 15-minute bake to brown the crumbs, you have a pie, ready to serve! Keep in mind that this pie is a bit on the sweet, so it would go great with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to cut the sugar shock. Or just enjoy as is if you like your desserts more on the sweet side.
Oat Cookie Pie Crust and Topping slightly adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi.
Oat Cookie Crust
1/2 cup (115 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (75 g) packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons (40 g) white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup (80 g) white whole wheat flour
1 cup (120 g) multigrain rolled cereal or old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
two pinches of baking soda (about 1/16 of a teaspoon)
4-6 tablespoons melted butter
4 cups (1lb 6 oz) bing cherries
1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
1/4 cup (40 g) cornstarch
2 cups (8 oz) blueberries
1/2 teaspoon extrait de noyaux or almond extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together until it starts to lighten in color. Add the vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and continue to beat until incorporated. Add the egg yolk and beat until light in color – almost white, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the flour, rolled cereal (or oats) and salt. Beat until a dough forms. Scrape onto the lined baking sheet and spread as thin as you can get it. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges start to look golden brown and the middle is dry and puffs up a bit. Let cool on the baking sheet. Maintain the oven temperature.
2. While the cookie crust is baking and cooling make the filling by first pitting the cherries. Place them in a large pot along with the sugar and cornstarch. Cook over medium high heat until the cherries have started to release juice. Continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes until the filling has started to thicken. Add the blueberries, extrait de noyaux and salt. Cook for another minute until the blueberries start to darken and a few have popped. Remove from heat.
3. Make the pie crust by breaking up the cookie into a large bowl. Continue to break it up with your hands until you have the cookie in as fine a crumb as you can. Sprinkle the cookie crumbs with 4 tablespoons melted butter and toss until the cookie crumbs start to hold together when you squeeze them. If they won’t hold together, sprinkle 1 or 2 more melted tablespoons until they do.
4. Pour 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the pie plate and press into the bottom and up the sides as much as you can. Scrape the pie filling over the pie crust. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into the remaining 1/4 cookie crumbs and toss. Sprinkle those cookie crumbs all the way around the edges of the pie. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the top edges of the pie crumbs start to look darker brown, as if they are toasted. Remove and let cool before serving.
Makes 1 pie, serves 8-12 people.