ROSACEAE, The Rose family
It’s the best cherry season in years..
M. and I biked to the farmer’s market yesterday and got pounds of ‘Samba’, ‘Rainier’ and pie cherries. On the way home we took at break at The Hop and Vine and had a Kriek Lambic, a Belgian cherry beer. At home, in the breezy kitchen, I canned the sweet red cherries (Prunus avium) in syrup, steeped the Rainiers in a Rose wine reduction and put them up. I found the recipe in The Oregonian.
Originally uploaded by mulysa_may
Then made a pie. I must say, sweet cherries are fun to eat, but really, sour cherries are sublime. I guess I like food that have some transcendent quality: take barely edible fruits and toss them in sugar and flour bake them in a pastry and the result is a constellation of jewel-like wonders with gooey, heavenly sweet-tart paste squishing out between them. Canned, boughten “pie filling” cannot approximate.
Here is my cherry pie recipe if you want to experience for yourself:
Pit 2 lb. pie cherries like ‘Meteor’, ‘Montmorency’, ‘North Star’ (about 4 cups). A large bent paper clip makes this go quickly if you don’t have a cherry pitter.
Mix 1 cup fine sugar (or more, to taste) and 1/3 flour. Toss with cherries and mound into pie crust. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. almond extract (optional).
Place top crust over fruit and trim and flute edges. Use extra dough to make cut-outs and paste with a little water on top of pie, or cut a design into the top with a sharp paring knife. To make it sparkly, brush the top with water then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 425 F for 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until juices are bubbly and the top is near golden.