Fresh-Picked Sour Cherries

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Our sour cherry tree was covered in cherries just a few weeks ago, so we picked lots and made sour cherry and strawberry pie. Last year I think we missed most of the ripe sour cherries – birds and other critters must have gotten to them first, so we are very happy to enjoy them this year.

For the pie, I used this sour cherry pie with almond crumble recipe from Smitten Kitchen but substituted about 1/2 pound of sour cherries for strawberries and only used half of the sugar. It turned out really delicious; I love the sour cherry flavor combined with the sweetness of the strawberries. The almond crumble topping was really good, too. It was neat having a traditional pie crust bottom paired with a crumble topping like a crisp.

Here’s the list of ingredients:

Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, very cold

Almond Crumble

  • 2/3 cup whole oats, ground to a flour in a food processor (yielding 1/2 cup oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted whole almonds
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Pie Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh sour cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 pound fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Note: I used a pitting tool to pit all the cherries. It was so fast and so easy!

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And here’s the method of preparation:

Pie Crust

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  1. Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Cube the butter.
  2. Using your hands, breakup the butter in the flour mixture, combing until the pieces of butter are pea sized.
  3. Drizzle 1/4 cup of of the ice-cold water over the butter and flour mixture. Using a spatula, gently stir the dough together. Add additional cold water a tablespoon as a time until the dough is clumping together. Knead gently to form a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
  4. Roll out to about 12″ circle. Fit into pie plate and crimp edges.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and pie weights (I use dry beans). Bake at 425F for about 30 minutes.

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Almond Crumble

  1. Grind oats in food processor into oat flour. Add all other ingredients except butter. Pulse until almonds are coarsely ground.
  2. Melt butter. Let cool slightly, and stir into flour mixture.

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Pie Filling

  1. In a large bowl, mix the cherries and strawberries with sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Once pie crust has been pre-baked (helps eliminate soggy pies!), pour filling into crust. Top with crumble.
  3. Bake at 372F for about one hour.

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Note: In addition to pre-baking the bottom crust, I also reserved a bit of the liquid from the fruit. To make sure all the sweet juices weren’t wasted, I heated the juices (which already had cornstarch and sugar in it) on low-medium heat until it thickened. Use this drizzled over slices of the pie or over vanilla ice cream.

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