Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Itty-Bitty Cherry Pie Committee

It's that time again! The cherries on my parent's tree are ripening up and I'm picking them by the handful. These are not tart pie sherries, but they aren't super sweet either. We eat a lot of them raw, but I like them with just a little bit of sweet added. So first I sit on the porch during the longest day of the year and use that diabolical looking tool to shoot the pits out into the yard!

I then made a pie crust, just a simple butter and flour action. If you let your crust sit a while in the fridge it will let the gluten relax so you get less stringy bread-like crust and more flaky pastry crust. I have used the food processor to pulse the butter and flour, but it's never as good as hand chopped!

I coarsely chopped the cherries and put them on a low stove with a drizzle of honey and some flour and corn starch. It took about an hour to thicken up, you'ld be amazed at how much juice those firm little fruits have in them!

I rolled out my crust and used a muffin cup as a template to cut little circles. I didn't worry about them being perfectly round, as the act of pushing them down into the cups fixes any unevenness. This is a teflon no-stick cupcake pan (bullshit, I only tried using it for cupcakes with no cups once, it was awful); but with a regular pan I would grease if first to ensure they come out.

I baked them at a lower temp than most pies - 350F - since they were small. I could tell they were ready when the crust flaked and separated getting just a tiny bit brown on the edge. I used a cake spatula to peel them out, and they didn't give me too much trouble. They are messy and delicious to eat! Not a single one survived the night! Fortunately there are many many more cherries that still need to be picked...

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