January 5, 2009

Pie: The Wedding Cake Alternative

This past September, I attended my hubby's cousin's wedding and reception. One of the neatest parts of the wedding couple's reception was the lack of traditional wedding cake.

You see, the groom isn't a big cake fan - but he loves pie.

So rather than a four-tier wedding cake, there were tables all together in an L-shaped loaded down with pie, pie, and more pie! Cherry, apple, and pecan. Chocolate pudding, coconut cream, and banana cream. And of course, absolutely delicious cheesecake. There was a huge selection to choose from - and many of us sampled more than one!

The table was beautifully decorated, too. A beautiful black linen draped the tables with white twinkling Christmas lights around the sides and on top. Then the pies were on stands of all different heights, creating a beautiful presentation. The couple's pie had a wedding topper. Hint: To keep the topper from sinking, add a support stand with legs to go into the pie, then place the topper on the stand.

If you or your fiance aren't big cake lovers, try this fun idea instead. Your wedding guests enjoy the surprise!

Here's a wonderful Cherry Pie recipe from Food Network

Cherry Pie
by Peter Sterk

4 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries
1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 tablespoon almond extract (optional)
Your favorite pie crust or pie dough recipe for 2 crust pie
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, to dot
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle

Place cherries in medium saucepan and place over heat. Cover. After the cherries lose considerable juice, which may take a few minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract, if desired, and mix. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Use your favorite pie dough recipe. Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan. Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.