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Recipe of the week: Nixon’s Favorite Cherry Pie?

on November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving may be over, but our Community Cookbook has been such a success, we’re going to keep it running! Today we’d like to add this little gem of a recipe to our growing community cookbook. It comes from G. P. Skratz, a local performer, who writes:

I’m a poet/performance artist who has been living and working in the underrated urban paradise of Oakland for the past 35 years, from 1984 to 1998. I would send ‘Nixon’s Birthday’ cards to one and all every January 9. The attached was one of the first, from 1986, graced with Nixon’s mother, Hannah Nixon’s famous recipe for Cherry Pie. Inside, the card wishes: ‘May all your loved ones gather near / For Richard Nixon’s Birthday cheer!’

The original image from Skratz’s handmade card is shown below, and we’ve typed it up for you as well. Have your own quirky recipe? Send it to Subject: RECIPE. We’ll add it to our growing community cookbook and maybe feature it on our site as our recipe of the week!

Richard Nixon’s Favorite Cherry Pie

The frontispiece of G. P. Skratz’s birthday card for Nixon from 1986.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 or 4 tbsps ice water
  • 1 number 2 can sour pitted cherries (G. P.’s note: The “number 2 can” of cherries to which Mrs. Nixon refers is the equivalent of 2 sixteen-ounce cans.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsps cornstarch mixed into a thin paste with water

Directions: Crust

  1. Cut shortening into salted flour and lightly mix in ice water. (Editor’s note: There are no further instructions given on the original, but O.N. has taken the liberty of adding a suggested way to proceed.)
  2. Gather dough in two balls, one slightly smaller than the other.
  3. On a floured surface roll out both balls of dough into circles about a 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Place the larger pie shell in a greased pie pan and proceed to the filling directions.

Directions: Filling

  1. Bring cherries and sugar to a boil.
  2. Stir in thickening (the cornstarch mixture) and let cool.
  3. Put (the cherry mixture) in unbaked pie shell, dot with butter.
  4. Thoroughly moisten edge (of pie crust in the pan) with water before firmly pressing down top crust.
  5. After crimping edge (of crusts), circle pie eight times with wet fingers.
  6. Slightly moisten top crust with pastry brush dipped in milk.
  7. Bake is moderate oven 35 minutes or until done.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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