Part #2: Preserving Through Pie

Pie is perfection. You can take anything and make it into a pie. 
Before breaking my finger (I will spare you the photographs) I was busily making pies for our upcoming family camping trips. Hopefully I will be all healed before apple season…

So, though belated, here is my absolutely favorite recipe for a fresh summer cherry pie:

In my arsenal I have (from top to bottom of the photo):
My really cool all purpose scale for measuring the weight of the cherries
Metal bowls galore
My trusty kitchenaid mixer
The Martha Stewart Pie Wheel
Click HERE to download and enjoy
The classic Betty Crocker Cookbook

The Betty Crocker recipe for pie crust is a wonderful, quick all purpose recipe that can be used for ANY type of pie. A lot of people prefer crusts with butter but this calls for shortening making it a bit more affordable and you don't have the wait time to refrigerate it before using it.
8-9" one-crust
1 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 Cup + 1 T Shortening
2-3 T cold water

I usually double this if I am treating a 10" lattice top.
Mix the dry ingredients, blend in the shortening until it is pea sized and sprinkle in the water and mix. 
Cook Pie at 425 degrees for 35-45 min

Now we are talking PIE cherries. Not table cherries like Queen Ann or Bing. Those are a different creature all together. I have tried a few different recipes for cherry pie and have made an alteration or two . Very sweet but tart. Perfect with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.

2 1/4 lb pitted cherries. She says halved but I do whole
1/4 c sugar
2 T instant tapioca powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of almond extract. 
Let sit while you prep your crust and turn occasionally.

In the tradition of the all american cherry pie, I only do a lattice top but add a bit of my own flare. 

Pies are also an excellent way to preserve your fruit and pull out of the freezer when company is coming. I have canned pie filling but it just isn't the same. Plus, freezing the pie ahead of time seems to make it flakier. 

Another summer favorite growing up was the pitted cherries my mom froze for us to snack on, on those super hot summer days. Far healthier then frozen fruit pops and just as refreshing. 
Remember too that all cherries can be frozen in baggies (measure them out first for the recipe) and used later. Bing Cherries are also lovely in rustic pies. 

So now that I have gallons of these babies put away we can add them to smoothies, pies and create sauces with them in the winter. It is always worth taking a little time every evening during harvest time to put something away. Now that Blueberries are done my vegetable garden is brimming with cabbage I plan on making into sauerkraut for the first time ever. It could be a great success or a stinky mess. Wish me luck!

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