Along the way I ran into a few problems. The recipe I adapted calls for sour cherries, which I had never heard of before. I've never seen them in stores, but I have seen Bing and Rainier cherries. I learned that both Bing and Rainier are types of sweet cherries, and they would not be ideal to use in this recipe because they would make for an overly sweet pie. Apparently sour cherries aren't in season until around June. I was worried that I would not be able to find the right kind of cherries. There were no cherries at all in the produce section, as I expected. I found frozen dark sweet cherries, but like Bing and Rainier, these would be too sweet. Fortunately, in the aisle with canned fruits and vegetables, I found red tart cherries packed in water. The bonus with these is that they come already pitted, so I wouldn't have to spend forever taking the seeds out of two pounds of cherries.
It turns out that making a pie crust is not that easy. I used a plastic pad to roll the crust on, and because I didn't refrigerate the lard long enough, parts of the crust stuck to the pad. In the picture above on the right, you can see me piecing the crust back together in the pie plate. Fortunately the dough was pretty moist, so it took minimal effort to get the pieces to adhere to each other.
Another hurdle I had to overcome was with the almond crumble topping. Somehow I missed the part in the recipe that instructs me to either grind up the oats or use oat flour. I don't keep oat flour on hand and I wondered how necessary it was for me to grind up the oats. Seeing the chance to experiment more, I went ahead and used the oats as they were. To melt the butter, I simply cut it up into small pieces and placed them in a small pan. Then I heated the butter over the lowest fire possible on the smallest burner of my stove, being very careful to not burn the butter.
The recipe says to cook the pie for 1 hour 10 minutes or until the liquid in the pie is bubbling. I set my the timer to go off after 55 minutes, and I cooked the pie another 5 minutes before taking it out. It looked good enough to eat and smelled delicious too. The crust was golden brown, definitely not burned. After letting it cool off for a couple hours, I ate the first slice, and I'm happy to say that it tasted good. In addition, the almond crumble topping was crunchy and the crust was flaky, just as I had hoped.
Betty Crocker's Cookbook: New and Revised Edition. (1979). New York, NY: Golden Press.