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2007-cherry-pie-w-cherry-jelly-250.JPGThe first time I tasted a fresh cherry pie was a mere eight years ago, when I picked montmorency sour cherries off a tree and then pitted them by hand. I was hooked. Cherry pie must be the highest form of pie art. But where does one find sour (or pie) cherries? Few markets sell fresh cherries as the vast majority of cherries are processed for canned cherry pie filling or dried.

We have about ten montmorency cherry trees, but the cherries must be picked and then pitted. This spring, the hard frost destroyed all of our cherry blossoms. What to do? A year without cherry pie would be so sad. So we drove north to Door County in Wisconsin (north of Green Bay), the home of sour cherries, and purchased 360 pounds of freshly picked and pitted montmorency cherries. A ten-hour drive each way is easier than trying to pit all those cherries! Now 360 pounds may seem like a lot of cherries, but that’s only two cherry pies a week for a year. This magnificent obsession with cherry pie needs to be satisfied! And there are so many other delectables to make with cherries: jam, jelly, cobbler (with a chocolate crust), flavored liqueurs (steeping the cherries in rum or vodka), and my current favorite: cherry barbeque sauce.

This morning I canned 50 pint jars of cherry jam, then lunched on cherry pie with a fresh cherry soda (cherry juice mixed with club soda).

This wonderful fruit will be celebrated in these cooking classes: Eye on Pie on Wednesday, August 8 at 6 pm (cherry pie, of course) and Oh, So Very Cherry on Saturday, August 11 at 6 pm featuring cherry cosmos and black forest cake, among other cherry delights. If the only cherry taste you know is Luden’s cherry cough drops, the flavor of fresh montmorency cherries may change your life as it did mine.

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4 Comments for “Cherry Pie”  

  1. AK

    If that tastes half as good as it looks, oh my. But oh wait!! it tastes twice as good as it looks. Swooon …

  2. Ruth

    These are the most incredible cherries! Anne, thank you so much for making the trek to Door County. Now, we must patiently wait until August for your classes!

  3. terrie

    Anne, do you have the recipe for the cherry cobbler with chocolate crust?? I am from Chicago and wonder if those cherries are sold anywhere closer to us than Door County? Thanks for your good article. We also have driven to Door County and love the cherries !!!

  4. Anne

    I don’t know of any other place that sells the Door County cherries, but it is worth the drive. To make the chocolate crust on cobbler, simply add 1/4 cup cocoa to the dough.