Flathead Cherry Pie
I posted a picture of my finished pie on my Facebook page this morning and said something about the kind of cherries I used to make it.
I was asked what "Flathead Cherries" were. Being from Montana, I just assumed that everyone knew what they were....wrong! Flathead cherries grown near Flathead Lake in the western part of Montana. They are amazing!!!
In my last blog post, I mentioned how I wasn't able to go to my cousin's wedding in Washington last weekend. I still regret not being able to go. My mom brightened my day by bringing home a whole bunch of Flathead cherries. She gave a bunch to me and we talked about what to make. Here is some of what I started with:
I thought I would make some jelly....maybe a tart....maybe some turnovers. Then our friends decided to come out last evening to visit. I planned supper and the idea hit me to make a "fresh" cherry pie (something I have never done before). I researched a few recipes online, but eventually made my own up by combining a few.
The biggest thing to worry about when working with fresh cherries is removing the pits. Almost 10 years ago I somehow acquired a Pampered Chef Cherry Pitter. It was probably when I was a consultant for the company....who knows, but I remembered that I had it and thought it would come in handy. Boy, did it ever!!! That is one of the handiest tools ever! Shane helped me by taking a picture of the before and after process:
Easy as "pie" (excuse the expression)! :)
That little tool seriously make pitting 5 cups of cherries seem like a breeze! Even Stone pitted a bunch of cherries....to a 5-year-old, it was FUN! :)
So, onto my recipe. Basically, it was a breeze! Here it is:
Flathead Cherry Pie
Your favorite pie crust for a 2 crust pie
5 cups of fresh Flathead Cherries (use whatever fresh cherries you like)
1 ½ cups of granulated Sugar
4 TB Cornstarch
1-2 tsp. Almond Extract
½ tsp. Vanilla
1 ½ TB Butter, to dot
The white of one egg, beaten slightly
1 TB granulated Sugar, to sprinkle
Place cherries in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cover.
After the cherries lost considerable juice, which takes a few minutes (be sure to stir frequently), remove from heat. I smashed them down a bit too so that there would be some whole cherries and some not. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract and vanilla and mix.
Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently.
Remove from the heat and let cool. If the filling is too thick, add a little water, too thin, add a little more cornstarch. *I ended up adding almost 2-3 TB of cornstarch as the cherries were really runny.*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Use your favorite pie dough recipe. Prepare your crust. Divide in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan.
Pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust.
Dot with butter. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Instead of doing that I decided to do some star cutouts in my top crust before I put it on the pie (it’s so close to the 4th of July that I couldn’t resist!). Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake about 50 minutes (or longer). Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Here is my beauty:
It was out of this world!! I made Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce for supper complete with a salad and cheesy garlic bread. We didn't get to the pie till 9 pm because we were all so full! :)
Jody made a new drink early in the evening. It's called a Firefighter and holy cow was it yummy! It consists of Cinnamon Whiskey, Kahlua, Cream, and Coke. Doesn't it "look" innocent?!
I only had one.....that was by far enough.....good thing supper only had to be put in the oven or we might have had chips and dip for supper. YUM!!!!
The boys are getting along famously....check this out:
The great white hunters were off to trap frogs....or coyotes....or rabbits....who knows.....they were having a blast! :) Travon is visiting us for a few days with his horse Mindy. We are helping him with her. This is the kind of stuff that my husband thrives on...he loves kids and loves seeing them conquer goals. Travon is a great kid! It's so nice to have an older boy around for Stone to learn from....it's amazing the things that he picks up. Since Travon is an only child too it works out nicely. We are practicing up for the kids rodeo in Crawford on the 2nd of July. Summer truly is the best season if you ask me. Hope you try the pie recipe....if you do nothing else, try to get your hands on some of those Flathead Cherries.....you'll be glad you did! :) ~Cheyenne