I Have Seen The Light

There are many things in the world which are mysterious to me. One of the most perplexing to me, albeit not exactly life-changing, has been my brother Bob’s assertion that cherry pie is his favorite dessert.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I adore sweet cherries. But cherry desserts? Not a fan. I have never liked cherry-flavored candies, or anything else with that loathsome almond-y fake-cherry taste. So when I first heard Bob assert his preference for cherry pie, I reached the natural conclusion: most of my brain acknowledged that tastes differ, and to each his own; while the deepest, most primitively judgmental part of me knew that he was simply wrong.

However, the fruit-picking urge is strong in me. When the kids and I recently went to Sherwood Orchards to pick some Lodi apples and Shiro plums, I simply could not resist picking some pie cherries as well. I reasoned that I could always use them for jam. The owner commiserated with me about cherry desserts, but said that fresh cherries made all the difference and she would email me her recipe for Cherry Crisp. I decided to try it. After all, there was a tiny, miniscule possibility that I was in the wrong here.

Yep, very wrong.

Holy cow, but my tune has changed. I have two more quarts of pie cherries in the freezer, and they have become precious beyond gold. The delicious contrast of sour cherry against sweet sauce, with the crisp’s topping adding a crunchy high note, created a veritable harmony of a dessert.

Here is the Sherwood Orchards recipe as given to me:

Cherry Crisp

4 cups pie cherries, pitted
½ cup or more to taste, sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 X 9 X 2” baking dish with butter. Mix cherries with sugar and cornstarch. Dot with butter.

Mix topping ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds or pecans

Rub ingredients thoroughly through fingers until well blended. Pack on top of fruit. Bake in oven for 45 -55 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.

Serve with vanilla ice cream for the most delicious dessert ever.

Bob, I am sorry for ever doubting you.

(As a side note: this applesauce recipe made applesauce a trivial undertaking this time. I just quartered the apples, threw them in a pot, and put the whole thing through the food mill at the end. Crazy simple! Also, plum raspberry jam (no recipe, I just winged it) is a winner, as is this Vanilla Plum Jam.)

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Posted in Food. 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “I Have Seen The Light”

  1. amy sagerson Says:

    Finally! See, it is all in the cherries! I use tart, canned cherries from Oregon only. The tart and sweet combo is so yummy. Would love to try fresh, but i need a good source for those. Hugs, Amy

    • ilex Says:

      Maybe I can be your source! 🙂 The lady at Sherwood Orchards assured me that freezing the cherries would keep them as good as new.

  2. Pie Cherries « Ilex Quilts Says:

    […] discovering last year how good pie cherries could be, I’ve been looking forward to going back to Sherwood Orchards […]

  3. First Picking | Ilex Quilts Says:

    […] to be honest I’m not sure it was worth it. I know, it’s heresy… But even though I’ve been converted to the merits of cherry crisp, the cherry jam just isn’t doing it for me. Too cherry, not […]


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