The Joy of Cooking Milhouse

“Boy Scouts N the Hood,” season 5 episode 8

The Simpsons features a glut of pie and cake, so I try to space them out when testing recipes to keep me from looking like work-from-home Homer. But it’s high time we had some real dessert around here. Mmm… floor pie.

This season 5 classic begins with Bart and Milhouse running out of money at the arcade and getting kicked to the curb. Meanwhile, Homer is eating honey-roasted peanuts at home and insisting Marge buy him steeeeak. Somehow his newly found 20 dollar bill flies over to Bart and Milhouse and they use it to buy a super Squishie, 100% syrup (“experimental”).

It gives them an intense sugar high and they “go crazy, Broadway-style!” They use the rest of the money to go to a VIP arcade, shop for fancy skateboards, see Cats, buy candy (“Mmm, free goo”), and get tattoos. Bart wakes up with a terrible hangover to find that during his bender he joined the Junior Campers (Boy Scouts).

Bart decides to quit the nerdy club as soon as possible, but when he finds out he can get out of a pop quiz, he attends his first meeting. Bored to death, even the promise of a Swiss army knife can’t keep him engaged. On his way home, he sees tons of cool knives and even sees a man’s removed appendix explode like a grenade.

Convinced by the power of knives, Bart stays in the Campers and learns a few things like how to trap wild animals (i.e. Homer, using floor pie). He ends up loving it, but is embarrassed to bring Homer to the father-son rafting trip. Homer and Bart end up paired with Ned and Todd and quickly get lost. Stranded in the ocean, Homer is predictably terrible at survival. He uses up the water and eats all the rations and shoots a flare gun straight into a rescue plane.

Even though Homer ruined everything, he manages to navigate them to a Krusty Burger built on an oil rig. Seven hundred Krusty burgers later, they’re saved and Homer and Bart make up. Meanwhile, the other campers and Ernest Borgnine are maybe murdered??

It’s cherry pie time. And not just any cherry pie, but a floor pie. It’s used to trap Homer, who swipes at it from a hanging trap as Santa’s Little Helper gobbles up the slice. This pie is so good, you can use it to trap anyone you like. As long as you know how to tie a taut line hitch.

Floor (Cherry) Pie

For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and very cold
Up to 3/4 cup ice water
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water (for egg wash)
For the filling:
3 (15-ounce) cans pitted sour cherries in water (or 5 cups frozen sour cherries, still frozen)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (plus more for topping)
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch nutmeg
Red food coloring (optional)

  1. To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the cold, cubed butter and use a pastry blender or two butter knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the largest pieces of butter are pea-sized. Add 1/2 cup of ice-cold water and mix. Add up to 1/4 cup more water, a little at a time, while stirring. Add just enough water for the dough to come together without becoming sticky.
  2. Form into a ball and cut in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a disk, smoothing the edges. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour or longer.
  3. Once the dough has chilled, make the filling. If using canned cherries, drain 2 of the cans and leave 1 undrained (use frozen cherries as-is). Combine the cherries and liquid, sugar, tapioca, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and red food coloring (if using) in a mixing bowl and mix. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  5. Remove one ball of dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface, turning to keep from sticking. Roll into a circle a little over 12 inches across and transfer to a pie pan, lifting and pressing into the sides of the pan. Trim so that the crust has a 1-inch overhang. Set the pan with crust in the fridge.
  6. Remove the other dough ball from the fridge. Roll out using the same techniques into a 12-inch circle. Remove the pie crust from the fridge and add the cherry filling, smoothing the top. Cover with the top crust.
  7. Paint the egg wash in between the two crusts where they meet at the edge and press down to seal well. Trim, leaving just under an inch of sealed crust hanging off the edge. Fold in at the edge of the pan all the way around the pan, then use your fingers to crimp.
  8. Paint the top of the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Cut a few steam vents into the top of the pie.
  9. Place the pie plate on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is browned.
  10. Let cool completely (for several hours) on a wire rack before cutting and serving. Cut a slice and use it to trap wild animals or your dad.

Tips:

  • Feel free to use store-bought pie crusts for a quick and easy version.
  • If your crust gets too soft or melty at any point, stick it back in the fridge or even the freezer for a few minutes.
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