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Z Crew: The Best Cherry Pie Recipe in the World

headshot2Manley, NE/Garden City, KS: Here in Nebraska, Callie and I are recovering from our first 4th of July celebration at home. We both had a fantastic day filled with food, swimming and fireworks. I started my day by baking a cherry pie. Remember when I picked those cherries off of our cherry tree? I used those very cherries to make the best cherry pie in the world. I don’t want share the recipe because I’m selfish, but I’ve decided I must. I think everyone will enjoy this simply delicious pie!

Callie returned on Thursday night from her Future Business Leaders of America trip to Nashville, Tenn. With the help of her team, she placed fourth in the nation in the category of Public Service Announcement. The award ceremony could be watched online Wednesday evening. There were three different households over a span of 430 miles watching and anxiously waiting to hopefully hear Callie’s name called. If you were anywhere between Louisville, Neb. and Garden City, Kan. I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard us cheering. We are all very proud of her hard work!

Meanwhile in Kansas, Mom and Dad are in the field cutting wheat! FINALLY! They were graced with Jenna’s presence over the Independence Day weekend. I know everyone down in Kansas enjoyed seeing her smiling face. I talked with Dad on the phone today and he said the field they’re currently cutting has an outstanding crop. An irrigated field, Dad laughed and commented they “must’ve fertilized the heck out of it.” He said by the time the field is cut and hauled off it will have yielded somewhere around 100-120 bushels per acre. When the farmer rode in the combine this afternoon he said it’s the best crop he’s had on there.

Callie and I are packed up and will be leaving for Kansas. I think I can safely speak for both of us and say we are more than ready to meet up with the “crew.” Although we’ve enjoyed a halfway “normal” summer, we’re both itching to hit the road and see some amber waves of grain. It won’t be long and we’ll be headed for the wheat crop in Colorado!

The Best Cherry Pie Recipe in the World (Thanks, Mom!)


1 20 oz. bag frozen unsweetened pitted tart cherries (about 4 cups) or you can use 2 16 oz. cans, drained (reserve ½ cup liquid). Reduce sugar in filling to 1 cup. Add 5 or 6 drops of red food coloring.

1 ¼ c. sugar

¼ c. cornstarch

¾ tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. almond extract

2 Tbsp. margarine/butter

1-2 drops red food color

In 3 qt. saucepan, cook frozen cherries, sugar & cornstarch, stirring occasionally until mixture boils and thickens; boil 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat, stir in vanilla & almond, margarine/butter & food coloring. Cool one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put filling in prepared pie crust (I use the boxed pie crust found in the refrigeration section of the grocery store). Brush pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 35-40 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool.

Z Crew: Boiling cherries
Embarrassing Moment: I sent a text to Mom that afternoon almost in tears because I thought for sure I’d ruined the pie. I asked her what the consistency of the pie filling should compare to and when she answered “pudding” I could’ve cried. My filling was like syrup! But it turns out the consistency must have been just right for that specific pie because it turned out perfectly.

Z Crew: Ready to put in pie
Ready to fill the crust with delicious cherry filling!

Z Crew: Time for top half
Time to put on the top crust…

Z Crew: Ready to bake
And finally time to bake! 

Z Crew: All done
I have to admit, the recipe was extremely easy to follow. I always thought pies would be much more difficult to make.

Z Crew: Best Cherry Pie in the World
YUM! Go bake this pie right now! I know your mouth is watering!

Z Crew: Taylor and Stetson
My puppy Stetson (Heeler/?/mix) and I had a great time at the Murdock Fourth of July Parade. It was so much fun seeing my friends from high school and catching up.

Z Crew: Murdock Parade
From the whole Z Crew, we hope you all had a blessed Independence Day!

I’ve had the same Aaron Tippin song stuck in my head for about five days now… “I was born by God’s dear grace in an extraordinary place where the Stars and Stripes and the eagle fly.”

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. The Z Crew can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.

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