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.