Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Iowa recipes: Cherry pie

About a month ago (Yikes! Where has the summer gone?), I visited Berry Patch Farm in Nevada, Iowa, first thing in the morning to pick pie cherries.  I wasn't sure if there would be many left.  Cherry season is short on their farm.  Usually, the cherries are gone in a little over a week's time.  I didn't have time to visit their farm until the weekend, which was about five days after their U-Pick cherry season opened.  And it turned out to be slim pickings.  I had to pick cherries from my tip-toes, since another woman was "hogging" the one ladder in the orchard, and I didn't want to be rude and bother her.  After a lot of reaching and stretching, I finally came home with enough cherries to make a pie.

Aren't these cherries beauties?

On my way home from the farm, I stopped at the Cook's Emporium in Ames (my favorite kitchen supply shop in central Iowa) and found a cherry pitter.  Last year, I pitted cherries with the tip of a knife, and it took forever!  I'm so glad I bought this little pitter for about $15.  It cut like 20 minutes off the cherry prep time!

Place the cherry like so...

And out goes the pit!  Easy!

The cherry pie turned out wonderful!  By far my favorite pie, and by far worth the effort of picking cherries on my tiptoes in the heat.  I'm still not great at making my pies "pretty," but they sure taste good!

A couple days after I baked this pie, Berry Patch Farm put a recipe on their Facebook page for freezer cherry pie filling.  I'm totally going to try this next year.  Would love to have all the ingredients ready to make sour-cherry pie for the holidays.

Here's the recipe, as it appears on their Facebook page:

Pie filling recipe: 3 cups cherries,1 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, dash of almond flavoring, mix & put in plastic freezer bag. Handy for pies later !  (Just mix the ingredients in the bag and pop in freezer.  No need to pre-cook.)

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