Wednesday, July 2, 2008


As most gardeners know, reaping an edible harvest requires patience, hard work, and luck.

In the past few years, the hardest has part for me has been the last of the three.

As soon as I fenced out the deer, the raccoons and feisty crows helped themselves to my fruit.

Then, when I invested in more netting than beach full of volleyball courts, we were hit with an unseasonable frost. Something always denied me my luscious fruit. But 2008 is my lucky year.

I had enough sour cherries to nibble, make sauce, and pies. And, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and the netting on the peach, pear and apple trees.

Here is my favorite recipe for Sour Cherry Pie. The crust is from Abby Mandell's Cusinart cookbook. The book came with my very first food processor and it's a good one. If you find a used copy on Amazon, grab it.


For Pastry:
1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
5 Tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

For Filling:
1/4 cup thick apple butter
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons flour
4-5 cups pitted sour cherries
1 cup chopped walnuts
A few shakes of ground cinnamon and cloves
Orange marmalade (D’Arbo brand is my favorite)

To Make Dough:
Put butter, egg yolk, salt, sugar and ice water in food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse on and off 5-6 times, then process for about 10 seconds. Add flour and process until dough just starts to hold together. Do not over-process or let it form a ball. Scrape dough into a plastic bag and working through the bag, press into a ball, then flatten into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To Make Pie:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter pie pan. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and place in pie pan. Trim dough and use your thumb or a fork to make a decorative edge.

Mix apple butter with corn starch and flour and spread on bottom of pie crust. Cut some of the cherries in half and leave some whole, then mix with walnuts. Add a few shakes of cinnamon and cloves and mix again.

Pour cherry-nit mixture into pie crust. ** If cherries are very liquidy, you may want to mix a few more tablespoons of flour or cornstarch into the mixture.** Using a spatula or your clean fingers, spread a layer of orange marmalade on top of pie.

Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set. If crust starts to get too brown, remove pie from oven, cover edges with aluminum foil and put back in oven. Let pie sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.


Brenda Kula said...

Oh, it looks scrumptious!

CIELO said...

Hi Barbara... thanks for the Sour Cherry Pie recipe... that looks delicious... just in time for the
4th of July celebrations...

Have a blessed rest of the week!


Judy's Vintage Collections said...

YUMMMMMMMM! made me think of my daddy's fruit trees....and a garden is always hard work....but the pay-off is wonderful...I miss making a garden, but I do have lots of wild dewberries, wild grapes and wild plums...makes very good jellies! There always plenty for us and the wild critters!
from the Heart of Texas!

Desperate Diva said...

Ooooohhh, your pie looks so Yummy..!!! I know exactaly how you feel. The deer EAT my roses.
And netting....I did't know you could buy that. I NEED some.

Enjoy you deliciious treat and have a wonderful Holiday...!!!

Hugs to you,

Claire said...

Wow, it looks deeelish! I'm so glad this has been a winning year for your fruit trees.

A small tip for your future growing...
You can keep deer at bay if you spread hair clippings in your garden. Many salons will even bag the clippings for you. Being a hairstylist I've bagged more than my fair share of clippings for area garden farmers.

Good luck!


Barbara Jacksier said...

I tried hair -lots of it- but it didn't work for me. A seven- foot plastic mesh fence from Benner's Gardens did the trick! I fenced in the entire back yard. Most of the fencing is in wooded areas so it doesn't show much.

Daisy Cottage said...

Okay - that seriously has me drooling! I'm going to try this recipe Barbara! Thank you!
Happy 4th of July!


Rosehaven Cottage said...

Congrats on your bountiful harvest! I've had the same issues with my plum tree in the past but this year is also a bountiful year here with our plums. Doesn't it make you happy?

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

NeereAnDear said...

That pie looks out of this world....I really need to find me some cherries...

I too use the netting for my garden... its not very expensive... I found mine at Kmart... works wonders at keeping those critters away

Looking forward to more recipes... you have some fabulous ones



Julie said...

That all looks so amazing! Our peach and plum trees floped this year because high winds from a storm blew off the blooms.. :0(

Barbara said...

The fruit looks delightful, especially the Cherry Pie.

Interesting post on the NY bridges. Takes me back many years.

bj said...

Yummy.,..this looks so fabulous. I am such a pie person, and I love finding new pie recipes....thanks for sharing.