To me, nothing sounds more American than a cherry pie. If you have read the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, you will no doubt be familiar with (if not envious of) Stephanie’s calorie-infused, sugar-laden diet. This bounty-hunter’s voracious appetite spans from savoury delights like Popeye’s spicy fried chicken and biscuits to an endless array of snacks featuring donuts, waffles, Pop-Tarts and Twinkies. It is through reading books like these and growing up watching American TV shows and movies that I was introduced to the delectable world of American diner desserts, featuring banana cream pie, pumpkin pie and, of course, cherry pie.
So when the opportunity arose in the past few years to travel to the US for extended periods of work, I finally had the occasion to actually seek out these classic American desserts and see if their taste was anything close to what I had imagined them to be.
My first taste of a cherry pie was at a colleague’s home when she brought out a selection of slices of pie for dessert, producing a perfect sampling board for my husband and I. My first bite into the cherry pie revealed that the filling was almost like a jam or compote, though absent of any bits of fruit. I loved the wobbly, ruby red filling and was surprised to find that it wasn’t too sweet. And as our host admitted to having bought dessert that evening, I secretly wondered if perhaps a homemade cherry pie could taste even better, possibly with more of a fruity filling.