Welcome to Sugar High, a new series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.
In braggadocious moments of dessert-loving bliss like this, the natural inclination would be to say something to the effect of "this ain't your grandma's cherry pie." In the case of chef Jennifer Cleveland's "Old Fashioned Cherry Pie" at Cleveland-Heath (106 North Main Street; Edwardsville, Illinois; 618-307-7830), however, the recipe actually is grandma's.
"The recipe was my mom's recipe originally, but I tweaked it a little bit. Before her, it was her mother's recipe that she tweaked a little bit," says Heath. "My grandpa had a cherry tree in his yard when I was a little kid. It's his favorite and my favorite passed down from generations."
Since the restaurant's opening in 2012, and subsequently, its naming as the best new restaurant in RFT's Best of St. Louis that year, this warm, flaky-topped pastry has proven a Cleveland-Heath fan favorite and bestseller.
Though traditional in its history, the pie's presentation takes on a new form with Heath's homestyle preparation. Tart cherry filling gets baked in an individual ceramic ramekin and draped with a sheet of all-butter crust. The impossibly flaky layers get infused with amaretto and almond paste to really take it over the top.
Served warm out of the oven a la mode, creamy vanilla cuts through the tart cherries and delightfully crispy crust, melting and melding the flavors with each bite. It's not exactly Grandma's pie, but we'll gladly give credit where credit is due.
Previously on Sugar High: - Schlafly Tap Room and Bottleworks' Sticky Toffee Pudding
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