Tuesday, June 17, 2008

(Tart Cherry) Memories...

...pressed between the pages of my mind...for always...

My dad and I share many things in common, the most important of which, at least food-wise, is our love of tart cherries - baked in a pie,* to be exact. Good thing both our birthdays fall in June - the peak of the tart cherry season - as we always both request a tart/sour cherry pie for our birthday "cake". Most years this is possible, as you can see from this year's bounty (above), but some years it's not - last year Missouri endured an unusual hard (temperature was a sustained low 20's all night) freeze in late April, killing all the cherry blossoms - not one cherry to be picked, darn it - and other years the dang birds have managed to eat all the cherries before the humans could partake of their gloriousness. However, this year???? Yessir!! I am going to have myself a late birthday pie come this August when I go home! I might even share a piece with dad. (He's already had his birthday pie, so don't feel too sorry for him!)
For anyone interested in purchasing tart cherries and without a ready source - and that's 99% of the population (outside of Michigan) - go to Friske Orchard's website - their cherries are just superb - that's where we got ours the year of the big MO freeze!

The above photo was taken by my mom, and considering she's in MO with cherry trees in her yard and I'm in CT without cherry trees in my yard, that makes perfect sense. DUH! (And yes, I realize she is an incredible amateur photographer! DUH, again!) The below is an email and photo mom sent to her grandson (my Dodgie, who is also my brother, Bill's, perfect son, thus my perfect nephew):

Dear Roger [Dodgie to moi, remember?],

Granddad and I were picking cherries, I reached in and saw this curled pile of something on the limb. When the limb moved, the pile straightened and climbed up the tree. He is still there, enjoying the sunshine. Do you know what it is?
Miss you, love to all
Grandma Mary, etc.

(tho moi can tolerate earthworms, moi would have gone screaming into the house if moi had encountered said snake!!!)
(Just a small aside.)
Dodgie's reply:

Dear Grandma Mary,

It's a snake. I think it's cool. This is the first time I ever saw a snake up in a tree. I've heard of it but I've never seen it.



*Mom's Cherry Pie Recipe:

"what recipe? This is as close as I can get! You know it's always just a throw 'n go thing here!"

Sour Cherry Pie (Mom's crust recipe sent upon request - and it is the best crust you'll ever have)

Crust for a double crust pie (see above)

sour/tart cherries to fill a nine inch pan

4 T. flour, about
1 cup sugar,
2 T. butter

Roll the pastry into one very large round, Place it in your pie pan, (you will have a large amount hanging over the edge. You can leave this and when you pie shell is ready for the top crust, just bring the overhang up and over. That's what I call "Your Cheatin' Tart".
Alternate method, trim the excess, letting it fall back to the work surface to place on filled shell. When your pie is ready for the top crust, pick up the strips that fell away and spiral them over the top. This is almost as pretty as a lattice and much easier.
Sprinkle the bottom crust with a couple of T. of the sugar, put half of the cherries in the crust and sprinkle with the flour and half of the sugar. Add the rest of the cherries and sugar, dot the top with the butter. Place the crust on top, your choice of methods, sprinkle with more sugar.
Bake at 415 F. for about 50 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and if it getting too brown, reduce the temperature to 375 F. for the remainder of the baking time.

Serve with vanilla ice cream if you must, but why spoil a perfectly excellent thing??




  1. No way I would've had a photo to go along with the story of the snake in the tree!! Yikes!! I probably would burned the tree down! (Cringing)

  2. Hate snakes. They scare the ba-jeebers out of me when I have come across them in a grapevine. Just freaks me out.

  3. Love Cherries, of course I am from Michigan so I also love the cherry blossom festivals too :)
    Snake in Tree OOMMGG

  4. Now, if anyone can make the crust half as good as your mom I will be shocked...this cherry pie is excellent!
    ps...Had I'd seen that snake, I would probably have a heart attack on the spot!

  5. That ain't fair! Now I'm having my stomach growl for cherries!
    Beautiful! Cheers, Klaus

  6. Yikes. Call me when you take that pie out of the oven. I'll jog over.

  7. Yikes. I would have peed myself. Holy Moly. The picture of the cherries looks like a postcard. Just beautiful.

  8. What a lot of memories this brings back! We had 3 large cherry trees when I was a kid, and one of my jobs was to sit under the trees with a gun chasing the birds away all day long. (ick...snake in the tree??) Will try the recipe...sounds great! My mom was a good pie baker, too and sounds like she would have gotten along great with your mom :-) She always made her pies in a rectangular dish and rolled the crust large enough to just fold it over the top after everything was inside.

  9. Love Cherries, great shot!

  10. Cherries ... yum .. pie... yummier .. cherry pie .. totally yum ... vanilla ice cream .. love it .. but on the side please .. I like my pie warm ...


  11. Please have the pie ready when I come by sweetie..I'll take a piece up to Hallie on my way :)

    Mom would have one less person looking at her cherries had I been there...OMG!!

    Be sure Mama jogs back after she eats :)

  12. Thank goodness it wasn't a moth. You'd have heard my scream for miles away. I can handle snakes as long as they don't lunge at me.

    Thanks for the cherry pie recipe. Always open to a crust recipe too!

  13. Awesome photo. I really like it. I've seen plenty of snakes in trees, too. Ick. Nice post today!!

  14. Mmmmm.... cherries... gotta have some. NOW! Sweet and juicy... yummy!

  15. You are much further along then we are up North. We just got done with blossoms and need to have a growing season. I like cherry pie but vanilla ice cream makes it special.
    I'm glad you liked my country music concert post.

  16. thats a good snake...it eats lizards and rats... prolly birds too cool picture... I would have prolly taken a pic too after the initial scream and JUMP back! LOL...
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE cherries used to pick them off the trees in my aunts yard when I was a kid!
    HUGS laura


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