Sunday, August 7, 2011
Ever wanted free sour cherries? Here's all you gotta do:
1. Have neighbors that plant sour cherry bushes directly next to your property line.
2. Watch baby sour cherry bushes spring up on your side of the property line.
Yup, sour cherries spread, but we're not complaining. In fact, our neighbors pulled out their cherry bushes after awhile, and we just kept ours going, picking more and more fruit off of them every year. There was that one year when the birds absolutely attacked them and ate nearly every cherry off of them (along with most of our raspberries and strawberries), but this year, we had a bounty.
I made sour cherry jam, sour cherry and chocolate coffee cake, sour cherry popsicles, and yes, this sour cherry berry pie. However, it's not all rubies and sapphires in my cherry world as sour cherries are tedious to pit. I end up pitting them by hand, squeezing every single one to get the pit out and in the process spraying cherry juice EVERYWHERE. My kitchen and apron resemble a butcher shop more than a bakery by the time I'm done. If anyone knows a better way to pit sour cherries, I'm all ears, but since I want to retain the actual fruit fiber and not just juice the cherries, I haven't yet figured out a better way. When it's cherry pitting time, I just zone out and go zen about it. Focus on nothing but the cherry. Be the cherry.
But for me, the work is worth the reward. A pie made out of fruit entirely from my tiny backyard? I treasure every bite.
Cherry Berry Pie
Adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book - yes, the classic red-and-white plaid cookbook. A fav - thanks, Amber, for the thoughtful cookbook gift!
Pastry for a double-crust pie (in my book, a homemade crust is worth every ounce of time and effort, but there's no shame in using the pre-made stuff if that's your preference)
3 cups pitted sour cherries
2 cups raspberries
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
In a large bowl, stir together sugar and tapioca; add fruit. Gently toss until coated and let stand about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, prepare your pie crust, lining a 9" pie plate with half the pastry.
Stir fruit and transfer to the pastry-lined pie plate. To do a lattice crust, roll out the other half of the pastry and cut into long strips. Lay the strips on the pie, weaving them over and under the other strips. Crimp edges and sprinkle top with sugar.
Place pie on a baking sheet and wrap edges with tin foil. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes; then remove the foil and bake and additional 25-30 mins more until the filling is bubbly and the pastry is golden. Cook on a wire rack next to an open window, a la June Cleaver style.
Posted by Rhubarb and Venison at 5:59 PM