Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sour Cherries

The other evening, I mentioned that there was sour cherry pie in my fridge. I realized that I had not yet told you about our sour cherries. So, sit back and let me tell you a little story....

We have one sour cherry tree. One is enough. This is the first year that we bothered to net it. It was pretty much torture for me last year to watch all those beautiful blossoms turn into little light yellow cherries, turn into bigger pink cherries and then promptly turn into pits hanging from stems. That's what the birds decided to do with our cherries.

This year, I declared that no matter what it took, we were going to net that tree. Over the course of two days with Jamey and I taking turns at it, clothes pinning two large nets together while standing on a very tall ladder, muttering and struggling, we finally had it covered. Two birds lost their lives due to our netting this tree, but I like to think they were some of the lucky birds who ate the cherries last year. Oops. Did I write that? Anyway, we tied off any holes in the net to prevent any more deaths and waited. Hoping that it would all be worth it.

It was. They came mid to late June (before I starting blogging). All and all, I think we figured that we (along with some friends) picked over 100 lbs. of sour cherries. That's a lot of cherries.

For my birthday, my mother-in-law gave me a cherry stoner, a nifty little contraption that makes pitting cherries a breeze. Sam worked it for me a lot of the time. Once pitted, I canned some, dried some (for scones, muffins, etc.) and froze the rest for pie.

My favorite way to eat sour cherries is in pie form. This is actually the last bite- just as good as the first. Yes, I was eating directly out of the pie plate.

Sour Cherry Pie (adapted from my Grammie's recipe)

3 cups pitted sour cherries (thawed and drained, if used from the freezer)
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar (yep, this is yummy!)
3 tbsp. melted butter
one pie crust

Combine water, (white) sugar, cornstarch and almond extract in a saucepan with a whisk until cornstarch has dissolved. Cook over medium high to high heat, stirring constantly until it becomes thick and bubbly. Take it off the heat.

Lay sour cherries in crust. Pour cooked sauce over the cherries. Set aside.

Make crumbs by combining the flour, brown sugar and melted butter with a fork. Top pie with crumbs and bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until crust and crumbs are nicely browned. Pin It


  1. Mmm, I think I ought to go make a cherry pie. Cherries from your tree, of course.


  2. Have you ever used sweet cherries? We were just able to pick my grandmas tree today. We canned 7qts. pie filling & 13 qts. of plain cherries. This was my first time doing cherries so I'm hoping they are good! What are your other suggestions for putting up cherries? Thanks so much!

  3. Karen P.,

    Whoohoo for you!! I wish we could swap some sweet for sour:-).

    I have never put up sweet cherries, only sour. While I can't speak about the sweet ones, I can say that I prefer the sour ones frozen for pies and baking. The canned ones are great for eating (like peaches, pears, etc.) Even though the sour ones are still sour (I only use a very light syrup), the kids love them.

    Later this week, I'll be posting about freezing them, but basically, it's just wash, de-stone, bag and freeze:-).

  4. Jane, I want to thank you so much for this delicious cherry pie recipe! I used the sour cherries from my parent's tree to make a couple of your pies and they were amazingly good, so I decided to make mini heart-shaped pies with the rest of the cherries for my soon-to-be sister-in-law's bridal shower. They were a huge hit! Everyone wanted to take a couple home to share with their husbands after the shower. To make them, all I did was buy pie crusts (one box of two crusts makes 5 mini pies) and use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out of the crust. I put the hearts on a greased (important to grease!) baking sheet, spoon some of your pie filling in the middle of each heart and sprinkled the brown sugar mixture on top of the cherries. Then I topped each heart with another heart and sealed edges with a fork. Brush a simple egg wash on top, sprinkle with sugar, cut a small slit in the middle of each pie and bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes. They look incredibly cute! Darling and delicious! Seriously , they have become my signature dish and I will be baking these for years to come! Thank you!

    1. This makes me SO happy! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and tell me this:-).


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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