Monday, July 14, 2008

Sour Cherries are in Season - YUM!!

Well, we have already pitted 8 quarts of sour cherries and made two pies! Warren bought a new cherry pitter this year and it did an awesome job of pitting the cherries in record time and with minimum splatter! The pies were so good, we are off today to pick up two more pecks (16 quarts more). There was a bumper crop of cherries this year but there were three series of very damaging hail storms which hurt the apple crop here even more than the cherries. Some of the cherries have dings, but who cares for pies!

My cherry pies are in great demand amongst my friends and neighbors which is crazy since they are from a very basic beginner cookbook (Betty Crocker). (I suspect they just don't want to pit the cherries and flattery is everything!) This year, I have been substituting more and more Splenda for the sugar to see if there is a point when you can detect a difference. I have successfully replaced 2/3 of the sugar and there is absolutely no difference in the consistency or the taste of the pies! The next one will be 100% Splenda substitution. It certainly helps with the calories and point values for those of us doing Weight Watchers! It would be even better if I eliminated that top crust but just wouldn't be cherry pie to me anymore!

Recipe for Cherry Pie (Betty Crocker with Beth's changes) - 9 inch

4 cups pitted sour cherries
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup Splenda (not the blend)
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp almond extract

Mix together and put into prepared pie crust and cover with another. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes covering the edge of the pie crust for the first 30 minutes.

I have eliminated the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for this recipe.

This is Warren with the cherry pitter. We managed to do two pecks (16 quarts) in less than 2 hours! Pretty impressive! We got it down to a system between the two of us.
This is the first six quarts which will mean 6 cherry pies this winter. Our freezer is now full to overflowing with these cherries! I figure I have enough for about 20 pies still!

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