Red Cherry Pie

It will be George Washington's birthday on Feb. 22. Since he refused to tell a lie and admitted that he cut down a cherry tree, it is only fitting that I give you a cooking recipe that might fit the occasion of celebrating Presidents' Day on Monday, Feb. 21.

When George Washington was young, his father gave him a hatchet. He tried to cut down a cherry tree with it. His father noticed the cuts on the tree, and asked his son how they got there. "I cannot tell a lie," George said, "I did it with my hatchet." Perhaps George Washington had no hatchet, and perhaps there were no cherry trees where he grew up. However, George Washington today represents honesty, and cherry pies have become a favorite food associated with his birthday.

1 (1-pound 4-ounce) can (2 cups) pitted tart red cherries, water packed and well drained (save the juice)

3/4 cup juice from cherries

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

1/4 teaspoon red food coloring

3 or 4 drops almond extract (optional)

Dash of salt

Pastry for 8-inch lattice-top pie (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Combine cherry juice, sugar, tapioca, cherries, red food coloring, almond extract and salt; let stand for 20 minutes. Line 8-inch pie plate with pastry; fill with cherry mixture. Dot with butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes.


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