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As American as Cherry Pie

August 1, 2010

Up until yesterday I had never tasted a real cherry pie.  Or a fake one for that matter.  I don’t like processed/artificial cherry flavoring at all.  (All purchased cherry filling falls into this category, as well as cherry popsicles, maraschino cherries and any “cherry flavored” candy.)  It kind of makes me gag.  But fresh cherries make me swoon.  Last week I saw some at a roadside fruit stand and had to bring them home.  And after I bit into my first I decided that I was going to make a cherry pie.  The only problem with that is I didn’t have sour pie cherries.  It’s hard to find sour cherries!  I had a bag of bing’s and a bag of ranier cherries, neither ideal for pies because they are so sweet (according to my mother).  But no matter, I am full of kitchen creativity and I knew I could make it work.  Somehow.

[ image by penwren on flickr ]

Not only had I never tasted a cherry pie, but I’ve never baked one either.  Nor had I ever looked at a recipe for one.  And with that incredible lack of knowledge I got to work pitting cherries.  Which is absolutely no fun.  For the next pie I make I am totally going to get one of these to do all that work for me.  After I had pitted all my cherries I started pulling things out of the cupboards and dumping them into a bowl.  Yes, dumping is the correct word.  No need to use more than one spoon.  I rarely follow recipes, and for some reason I felt that my cherry pie baking abilities (well, my imagined abilities) were enough to warrant a first attempt sans recipe.  (Where that newfound confidence came from I don’t know.)  I didn’t write anything down so the only thing I have to share is a picture.  And a few sticky crumbs.  Of course, I might not share those because this dessert turned out to be so FABULOUS!

[ A picture says a thousand words, right?  ]

The bing cherries have yellow flesh, and the ranier cherries are the deep dark red.  I mean I totally have that backwards, which means the girl at the Farmers Market had it backwards too.  The bing cherries are the deep dark red and the yellow one’s are ranier’s.  Thanks eileen for the correction!  What with all the yellow cherries it doesn’t look much like a traditional cherry pie.  I was using up the  other half of some buttermilk crust I had left over from baking another pie last week.  I didn’t have enough dough for that cute lattice business that is supposed to go across the top so I didn’t bake it in a pie shell.  Which makes it also much less pie-like.  And since I only had sweet cherries, and no sour pie cherries I added a bunch of cranberries I froze last fall to give it a little zing.   So I guess technically speaking it’s not a cherry pie at all, but more a cranberry cherry galette. (Doesn’t that sound fancy!)  Maybe not quite as American as cherry pie, but delicious all the same!

[ I didn’t have vanilla ice cream either.  This is frozen yogurt, the sour kind, without sugar. ]   [Seriously?  Why do I not have Ice Cream!!! ]

Though the cherries were lovely, I really think that it was the cranberries that made all the difference.  This pie had the perfect amount of sweetness and zing.  It always amazes me, but I think you could add cranberries to any fruit pie.  Last winter I made a cranberry apple pie topped with fresh raspberry sauce that was pretty divine.  Sigh, I can’t wait for fall.

I will make this pie/galette again for sure.  And maybe next time I’ll write down a recipe, instead of just throwing things into the bowl willy nilly.  Or maybe I’ll make something else completely.  I saw some sliced peaches in my freezer today and I started thinking about a cherry peach pie…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2010 8:49 pm

    looks good, and love the old fashioned way of making a pie–that harvest sort of pie. but i have to say you’ve got it wrong with which cherry is which–rainiers are the yellow ones and bings are the dark ones. believe me, i know!! live in central washington in the midst of hundreds of acres of fruit trees–cherries all around plus oodles of pears and apples. besides which i grew up picking cherries in my grandparent’s orchards–starting over 60 years ago. think there’s no problem calling it a cherry pie!! it’s a lot more cherries than anything else. your use of cranberries is a good idea. thanks for sharing and have a great day.

  2. August 2, 2010 6:28 am

    This looks so delicious! Much better than the cherry pies with the too sweet and gummy filling, which I’ve never been a fan of. I just bought a bag of cherries so I might have to try something similar!

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