Archive for the Category ◊ Fruits ◊

27 May 2020 Fresh Cherry Pie

1 double crust pie dough

Cherry Filling:
2 red plums
2 pounds (6 cups) sweet cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 -1 cup sugar, to taste (1/2 cup sugar usually results in a slightly tart pie)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes

1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)

Approx. 1 teaspoon sugar

  1. Roll out a generous ½ of pie crust dough and place in bottom of 9-inch pie pan. Wrap pie pan containing bottom pastry with plastic wrap in place in refrigerator.
  2. Roll out remaining pastry for top crust. Place flat onto a baking sheet, cover with plastic, and place in refrigerator. Meanwhile, prepare cherry filling.
  3. Pit the cherries, and cut them in half.
  4. Cut plums in half and remove the pit.
  5. Place plum halves and 1 cup of cherries to food processor and process for 1 minute or until smooth.
  6. Strain the plum-cherry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Press down and extract as much liquid as possible, discard the solids and retain the juice in the bowl.
  7. Add the remaining 5 cups of pitted and halved cherries, sugar, salt, lemon juice, bourbon cinnamon and corn starch into bowl containing the puree. Stir to combine. Let mixture stand for 15 minutes to meld flavors.
  8. Remove bottom crust from refrigerator. Pour cherry mixture into to dough-lined pie plate. Scatter 1/4? butter cubes evenly over filling.
  9. Remove the top pie crust from the refrigerator and place on top of pie.  Using thumb and forefinger, flute edges or use the tines of a fork to seal the two pie crusts together.
  10. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg and 1 teaspoon water together. Using a pastry brush, brush egg all over the top pie crust.  Sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the egg wash. Use a sharp knife to make 4-8 evenly spaced vents in top of pie.
  11. Freeze prepared pie for 20 minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a foil lined baking sheet in oven to preheat.
  13. Remove pie from freezer and transfer to pre-heated baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Then reduce temperature to 350-degrees and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes or until the juices bubble around the edges and crust is deeply golden brown.
  14. Allow pie to cool on wire rack for 4 hours before serving. Serve with a side of ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
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27 May 2020 Fresh Cherry-Limeade
 |  Category: Drinks, Fruits, Seasonal  | Tags: , , ,  | Leave a Comment

I am fortunate to live in an area with some remaining cherry orchards. For a few weeks each year these orchards are open for U-Pick cherries.  Seeing as how we are in the midst of a pandemic (80 days of Shelter-In-Place and counting), and U-Pick Cherries being a relatively safe outdoor activity (with masks in place), we’ve been twice in two weeks. That’s a lot of cherries!

Caution #1: U-Pick cherries are not cheap, they might even be a bit more than you’d pay in the grocery store, but they’re good, and fresh, and last a surprisingly long time.

Caution #2: If you go cherry picking, you will undoubtedly come home with more cherries than you would if you bought a bag of cherries at the grocery store or famer’s market. So bookmark a few of our very favorite cherry recipes: Fresh Cherry Salsa, Cherry-Limeaid, and Fresh Cherry Pie.

As a non-drinker, a non-drinker of anything alcoholic, compounded by being a non-soda drinker, and not being especially thrilled about water, I am excited when I find something special to drink. This is one of my favorite special drinks, Cherry Limeade! It’s made with fresh cherries and freshly squeezed lime juice, mixed with sparkling water or club soda.

Fresh Cherry Limeaid

  • 2 cups (about 385 g/ 3/4 lb.) fresh cherries, pitted
  • 2/3 cup (133 g) sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • 2 cups (473 ml) chilled sparkling water (more or less to taste)
  1. Combine the sugar and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for approx 5 minutes. Then turn off heat and let sit.
  2. While sugar and water are simmering, pit the cherries and juice the limes.
  3. Place 2 cups pitted cherries into a food processor or blender and whirl until smooth.
  4. Strain the pureed cherries with a mesh strainer. Reserve the juice, and discard the solids. Don’t panic! The cherry juice will be an awful brown color, things will improve with the addition of the lime juice. (Cherry juice is not red! Now you know how much red food coloring goes into commercial cherry juice.)
  5. Combine the sugar-water, the lime juice, and the cherry juice into a large pitcher. Place in refrigerator and chill completely.
  6. Just before serving, stir in the sparkling water or club soda.
  7. To get really fancy, top with a slice of lime and a frilly straw!
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27 May 2020 Fresh Cherry Salsa

I am fortunate to live in an area with some remaining cherry orchards. For a few weeks each year these orchards are open for U-Pick cherries.  Seeing as how we are in the midst of a pandemic (80 days of Shelter-In-Place and counting), and U-Pick Cherries being a relatively safe outdoor activity (with masks in place), we’ve been twice in two weeks. That’s a lot of cherries!

Caution #1: U-Pick cherries are not cheap, they might even be a bit more than you’d pay in the grocery store, but they’re good, and fresh, and last a surprisingly long time.

Caution #2: If you go cherry picking, you will undoubtedly come home with more cherries than you would if you bought a bag of cherries at the grocery store or famer’s market. So bookmark a few of our very favorite cherry recipes: Fresh Cherry Salsa, Cherry-Limeaid, and Fresh Cherry Pie.

First up, Fresh Cherry Salsa. It’s surprisingly good. I ate it with tortilla chips, layered on top of grilled tri-tip, and the last was layered on top of chicken in a chicken taco. So, so good!

Fresh Cherry Salsa

  • 3 cups (575 grams/1 ¼ lbs) fresh cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 ½ cups tomatoes, chopped (453 grams/1 lb./2 large)
  • ½ cup very finely chopped red onion (OK to sub sliced green onion, if preferred)
  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (adjust to taste)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (2 limes)
  • Salt to taste

Chop everything up, combine with the fresh lemon juice and salt. Adjust the lime, salt and jalapeños to taste.  Pour into a pretty bowl and serve with tortilla chips or on ladled on top of grilled meat, or layered in a taco.

One of these might make your cherry picking life easier. I’ve had this one for years, there might be better models out there now.

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27 Apr 2020 Blackberry Ribs
Blackberry Ribs on the grill

Blackberry Ribs, one of my family’s favorite BBQ dishes (a close runner up is my Triple Threat Chicken, also on this page).

Quantities are set for 3 lbs. of baby back ribs. I usually make a Costco batch, six pound of pork ribs with double the rub and double the sauce.

This is an easy recipe. Ribs are rubbed, baked in the oven, dunked in the Blackberry BBQ sauce and then finished on the grill.

To cut down on work and mess on BBQ day, ribs can be baked in advance, cooled, brushed with the Blackberry BBQ sauce and refrigerated.  On BBQ day remove ribs from refrigerator, bring to room temperature, then grill until warm throughout.

I like a fruity BBQ sauce, but it’s adventurous fare for some.  Some of your less adventurous eaters might register reservations before tasting, but after tasting, they’ll be fine, and happy!

On another note, one time I couldn’t find blackberries, so substituted blueberries, which worked fine, too

I’ve been making Blackberry Ribs since 2007. I found the original recipe on Epicurious.

Ingredients:

3 lbs. baby back ribs

For Rub:

4 tsp. chili powder added 1 tsp each of chipotle and ancho chili powders

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp. sugar

For Blackberry BBQ sauce

2 ½ cups fresh blackberries (12-18 oz)

½ cup ketchup

½ cup honey

2 tablespoon fresh ginger paste or diced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. Tabasco (or to taste) or substitute desired quantity of crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp. salt

  1. Line baking sheets with foil, you’ll need two or three baking sheets.
  2. Place racks of ribs on foil lined baking sheets.
  3. Mix rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle rub ingredients onto ribs, putting most on the front meaty sides, and only a sprinkle on the back boney sides. Rub in.
  5. Let ribs sit for until they come to room temperature, or for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Place ribs in preheated hot oven, meaty side up, for 50 minutes. Prepare grill if planning to BBQ now.
  8. While ribs are baking, prepare Blackberry BBQ Sauce.
  9. Place all sauce ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
  10. Strain the puree into a heavy duty medium saucepan. Discard all the solids collected in the sieve.
  11. Bring puree to a boil and simmer slowly for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  12. Reduce sauce to 1 cup. (Measure this by pouring sauce into a 1 cup measuring jug. If not reduced to 1 cup, return puree to pan and continue cooking. Measure again. Continue like this until sauce is reduced to the 1 cup mark. (NOTE: if doubling the recipe, reduce sauce to 2 cups) . If  sauce is too thick, thin with a splash of beer, bourbon, coffee, water, juice, Chambord…your choice, make it your own!)
  13. Season sauce to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, if needed.
  14. Remove ribs from oven.
  15. When cool enough to handle cut rack of ribs into 1 or 2 rib portions.
  16. Brush ribs with sauce on all sides. Use only a little more than half the sauce. Save some sauce to brush onto rubs after grilling. (At this point, ribs can be refrigerated to be grilled later.)
  17. Place ribs on hot grill. (Adding soaked wood chips to the charcoal is a good idea, too.)
  18. Cover grill for smoke to infuse the ribs.
  19. Reheat remaining Blackberry BBQ sauce (OK to warm in microwave)
  20. Grill ribs until hot, turning as necessary.
  21. Remove ribs to serving platter and brush with reserved and warmed Blackberry BBQ Sauce
  22. Share and enjoy!

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