Sunday, January 15, 2017

Celebration Lemon-Cherry Pie ala Kate Carlisle


Although Kate Carlisle is best known as the New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries, it's her second ongoing series—the Fixer-Upper Mysteries—that are coming to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries this month.

One of my books is coming to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries tonight. Celebrate with me! Framed for Murder: a Fixer-Upper Mystery, will air at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT, and will star singer/songwriter/actress Jewel in the role of Shannon, a contractor who specializes in restoring Victorian homes to their former glory—and in solving the murders that happen within their walls. Actor Colin Ferguson will play Shannon's love interest, Mac. He's a wonderful choice!

I'm delighted to celebrate with you here at Mystery Lovers Kitchen. We'll be live-tweeting during the show, so follow us both:

About the Fixer-Upper Mysteries: In the small resort town of Lighthouse Cove, California, the best man for the job is a woman: Shannon Hammer, owner of Hammer Construction Company and an expert in Victorian home restoration and renovation. Shannon discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors' closets, but murder victims, too!

The producers at Hallmark hope to bring all of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries to the screen—four books so far, with more to come: A High-End Finish, This Old Homicide, Crowned and Moldering, and Deck the Hallways. You can read free excerpts of all of the books on my website,

In honor of this career milestone, I've created a recipe that I'm calling Celebration Lemon-Cherry Pie. The first time I served this, everyone remarked on how flaky the crust is. The trick is to make sure that your shortening is very cold. I had mine in the refrigerator overnight. I'll have a printable version of this recipe available in the Secret Room at

Celebration Lemon-Cherry Pie

1 C all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ C vegetable shortening, very cold (refrigerate overnight if you can)
2-3 Tbsp ice cold water

Preheat the oven to 450. Whisk together the flour and salt, then cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until the pieces are about the size of lentils.

Add ice cold water 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring gently, just until the dough holds together. Too much water will make the crust hard. Too little will make it fall apart. Roll it out on a floured surface until it's about four inches larger than your pie plate (two inches on each side). Pinch dough around the crust to form little hills and valleys. Loosely tent aluminum foil around the edges of the pie crust. Line the bottom of the crust with parchment paper, and then weigh down with pie plates or something that's oven-proof and substantial but not too heavy. You're trying to keep the crust from ballooning up, but you don't want to smoosh it completely.

Bake the crust for 7 minutes, then carefully remove the aluminum foil. Bake for another 7-10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

¾ C sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1 C cold water
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Juice of two lemons
2 Tbsp butter, cubed
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp lemon extract
2 drops of yellow food coloring (optional)
1 can cherry pie filling

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, and salt. Stir in the water until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until it thickens and begins to boil, then turn the heat to low and continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Add a small amount of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, stir, and return all to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for two more minutes. (I took a break from stirring to take this picture, and the world didn't fall apart.) Remove from heat.

Add the lemon juice, butter, lemon zest, lemon extract, and food coloring if using, and stir them in very gently. Cool to room temperature without stirring anymore. Spread into precooked crust and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Spread the cherry pie filling over the lemon filling.

1 C heavy whipping cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Whip the cream alone until it thickens and is spreadably solid. Whip in the remaining ingredients. This will give you more whipped cream than you need to do something artistic like I did with my pie, so if you like lots of topping, just pile it on and enjoy!

This pie is perfect for the Fixer-Upper Mysteries because it's a little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and it packs a big punch! If you had to pick a food that best describes you, what food would it be, and why?

We're giving away a $25 Visa Card to one lucky winner today. To enter, leave a comment with your email address so we can contact you if you win. Good luck! And don't forget to live tweet with Kate and the authors of Mystery Lovers Kitchen tonight during the movie! See you there!