You can make the best blueberry pie using the blueberry pie filling recipe, but make it extra special by adding in some sweet, fresh strawberries. There are many ways to make this pie. You can put a full crust on top, or for you an cut out the dough and top it off with a heart or any favorite cookie cutter for high drama.
I like high drama in a blueberry pie, especially when it’s a birthday pie, which exactly what this was made for. If truth be told, I’m much more of a pie person than a cake person. I love making pie crust and I’ve made it so often, I do it without looking at a recipe or thinking. It’s so much easier than most people think when you have the tips for success, the right ratio for fat and flour and the discipline to make the pie dough in advance so it has time to relax in the refrigerator. Follow my advice for perfect pie crust and I promise you a successful pie dough. (There’s a video at the recipe, if you need extra help.)
Now that you have that under your baking belt, let’s get to fruit filling. Blueberry pie makes people happier than most desserts. I don’t know why; I’m just an observer.Add fresh strawberries on the top for extra prettiness, and you have a most winning combination of flavors. It’s the best blueberry pie you can make. I promise.
This is the best blueberry pie recipe, as it’s kid tested, man tested, and me tested. The most amazing thing about this pie is that it was made by six year old twin boys. These are my best friend’s kids making their dad a birthday pie. You often see them cooking with me and sometimes they show up on my youtube channel, a real treat.
The next time you have to make a birthday cake, make a pie. Now technically, this is a tart, because that bottom will come out and it will make a spectacular presentation. In flavor, taste, and texture, it’s a pie, using my perfect good, old fashioned pie crust recipe. No matter what you call it, it’s a food memory that will last a life time. Try a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for extra goodness and enjoy the best blueberry pie recipe from my kitchen.
Old Fashioned peach cobbler really means thinking way back in the day in the South when the pie dough was rolling on the table nearly daily in the summer to keep up with the abundance. Those must have been sweet days. Recently I brought you Blueberry Old Fashioned Cocktail and told you about Elixir and the Asheville Wine and Food Festival. Today. I’m bringing you an Old Fashioned Cobbler, and telling you about the other event I’m excited about.
Sweet will take place on Friday night. There will be lot of fancy desserts from the best pastry chefs in town, but I’ll be looking for the most Southern desserts. I’ll be looking for cobbler.
I’m now convinced there are as many ways to make cobblers as there are biscuits or shrimp and grits. Everyone has their own special recipe. I have several, but double crusted Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler just might be my favorite way to eat cobbler. I’ve made cobbler in jars, and in cast iron skillets, some with pie dough, some more cake like. It doesn’t matter which version you like; it only matters that it’s second helping good, and a double crust will make happy the person who loves pie crust or the person who loves fruit Both stand alone and then converge together.
The Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler Process
This is truly a genius method, one that would also work well with a cast iron pan if you really want to go rustic. You simply put half of the fruit in first, then cover with a slab of pie dough, bake for twenty minutes and then add the rest of the fruit and a lattice top. It’s the queen of summer comfort food, only aided by the addition of ice cream. Notice my lattice strips are not perfect, but the pie dough recipe is. That I do guarantee, after hundreds of times having my hands in pie dough, this works and you can get all my tips for pie dough perfection here.
STEP 1. Put half of the peaches in the baking dish.
STEP 2. Cover peaches with pie dough. Bake for 20 minutes.
Step 3. Cover with remaining peaches.
STEP 4. Cover with Strips of Pie Dough. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Don’t forget to serve the double crusted Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler with ice cream. It’s amazing.
Asheville, North Carolina has become a weekend getaway destination for foodies far and near, year-round. The mere mention of Asheville will easily become a food-centric conversation. The 2014 Asheville Wine and Food Festival is proof of that as the culmination of all good things to drink and eat in this charming Southern town come together for a three day celebration. The Asheville Wine and Food Festival will begin on Thursday night, August 21st, and end on Saturday at the Main Event.
The Spinach Tiger crew will be there for all three events, all three days. ElixirSweeta and the Grand Tasting, because every event has its own charm and appeal.
Thursday: Elixir, the Cocktail Event of the Asheville Wine and Food Festival
Elixir is taking place Thursday night, August 21st, and has all the elements of a smashing event, including lots of liquor, mystery, intrigue and a competition. Local bartenders will be showing off their mixology talent, crafting cocktails with liquors from North Carolina distilleries. Live entertainment and hors d’oeuvres will engage the senses and the appetite, as the excitement builds and a winner is chosen. Just like Prohibition, drinking at a secret location enhances the desire to imbibe. The undisclosed Asheville location will be announced to you 48 hours before the event, once you purchase your ticket, along with directions and the secret knock.
If you would like a guided tour to Asheville’s favorite neighborhoods and landmarks, you can purchase an additional ticket for just $20 riding LAZOOM’S purple bus, which they promise is side-splitting fun.
Friday Night: Sweet, the Dessert Event of the Asheville Wine and Food Festival
Sweet is exactly that, a feature of sweets, pastries, and chocolate taking place on Friday Evening, August 22 from 8 to 10 PM at the Grove Arcade, downtown. Local bakers will be heating up their ovens all day to serve you confections, while wineries, brewers and distillers will further the evening’s pleasure. Is there anything better than red wine and chocolate, while you browse the local shops of the Grove Arcade, strolling to live music. Go home full of sugar and sass and dream about the next day’s Main Event at the Grand Tasting.
Sweet Tickets: $45
Saturday: The Grand Tasting, the Main Event of the Asheville Wine and Food Festival
The Grand Tasting is the main event on Saturday. We are so looking forward to the one event we know will make us close our eyes and sing a little as we taste our way through Asheville’s cuisine.
Notice the word wine comes before food in the Asheville Wine and Food Festival and for good reason. They are promising hundreds of wines from local and international wineries. This is reason enough to want to purchase a ticket. Accompanying wine, there will be local beer breweries, regional distillers, and then more food from the talented chefs, artisans and food producers than you can probably eat.
Located at the U.S. Cellular Center, amidst the food and drink, there will be cooking demonstrations, an amateur wine making competition, and the Asheville Scene Chef’s Challenge finale. For the past several weeks, chefs have competed at various locations, narrowing down the competition leading to the finale. The winner will be named Asheville’s Wine and Food Festival Best Chef, an honorable and proud achievement.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
VIP 1-5 PM $70
General Admission 2-5 PM $55
U.S. Cellular Center | 87 Haywood St., Asheville
Make the Most of the Weekend
The Asheville Wine and Food Festival is certainly enough reason to drive, fly or scoot over to Asheville for a long weekend. There are many local restaurants to get chummy with, including many charming outdoor cafes. You may want to make room to tour the legendary and magnificent Biltmore estate, as 8,000 acres play host to the Biltmore Mansion, Gardens, Winery, Hiking trails and so much more.
Celebrating the first night of this event, Elixir, I am bringing you a Blueberry Old Fashioned Cocktail made with blueberries which I hand picked, and spiced cherry bitters. You can choose to substitute with blackberries, or any mix of berries and use any bitters you like, but do use a good bourbon. I made these in a mini-version, celebrating a new way to sit at the bar and try sips, in the same way shared plates allow for bites. The blueberry old fashioned accompanied this most recent, blueberry cream cheese sweet corn taco.
Did you know that tomatoes can teach you about life? This is especially true when you decide to make a garden tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes.
If you struggle with perfection, the tomato can teach you that the most imperfect tomatoes, especially those called ugly tomatoes, are often the sweetest, most delicious, like the Pink German Tomatoes. A tomato with a bruise can often be salvaged and do more with its good parts than a processed, perfect tomato which can never offer that same sweet taste and texture that a ripe, garden tomato can. Tomatoes teach you to grab your opportunities while you have them. If you procrastinate, tomatoes don’t wait for you. They ripen and need attention.
There is a crazy and disturbing story to the tomatoes in this sauce. I shared this very same basket with Retro Rose (my mother). She is prone to a temper and not seeing things as they really are. She threw all the tomatoes out, deeming them unfit and took it personal. Not only can she not deal with imperfection, she deemed the overly ripened tomatoes as reason enough to stop talking to us.
Caught completely off guard, although, this is common behavior, it wasn’t the joy it could have been making this sauce. Derailed by a tornado of a phone call with a threat to throw the tomatoes into my yard, I waited a few days to use the sauce, as it takes me that long to recover.
We all have difficult people in our life. I argued with myself as to whether to share this, but around here and amongst my friends and all the friends of my whole entire life, everyone knows of these outbursts. The phone rings, the f word flies and the relationship is cut off. At some point, months to years later, she will call and act like nothing ever happened. She missed my wedding due to one of her storms, just to show you how severe it can get. I made a video for her making this sauce, but I had to delete it, because it reminded me too much of the outburst, and that stress showed on my face. I’m just keeping it real. I have a pretty blog. I make pretty food. But, my life is not always pretty.
The good news here is that a few days later I saved the sauce for a big dinner with my closest friends, and in spite of what had happened, it didn’t spoil that evening. In fact, those evenings make life worth living.
The tomatoes used for this sauce I used three varieties including German Pinks which are very sweet and dense, great for helping to make the sauce think. Eventually the tomatoes in my own garden will ripen all at once and I’ll use those too.
You can make the sauce as thick or thin as you like, smooth or chunky. This is a smooth version, using an immersion blender. I cook the tomatoes first in big chunks in a crock pot.
The only ingredients will be tomatoes, onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and a sprig of basil. I may add in squeeze of honey or sugar if I feel the tomatoes need sweetened. I blend my sauce at the end after the onions are cooked down with an immersion blender.
I was making eggplant parmesan, braciole and spaghetti. I wanted a fairly smooth and thick sauce. One trick I use to thicken up a sauce is to make it a few days ahead and refrigerate. Even one day will make a lot of difference.
Another thing to know about making garden tomato sauce is that it will always turn out a little differently. You have no control over the tomatoes. Some will be very watery. Others will be just right. I cook my tomatoes with chopped onion which will practically melt down into the sauce. The basil also adds wonderful flavor.
Most times of the year I use canned San Marzano Italian tomatoes for this tomato sauce recipe. It’s a quick sauce, basic and balanced. But, in the summer time, at least a few times a year, I make a fresh garden tomato sauce.
In August we are making our way to Asheville, North Carolina for the Asheville Wine and Food Festival. The three day event kicks off August 21 with ELIXIR a cocktail mix-off by over twenty of the best bartenders in town. The event location is a secret, creating lots of buzz around the buzz.
The dialogue surrounding crafted cocktails, vintage cocktails, craft beer, local wine, and mysterious ingredients has created a new bar culture beyond Cheers and far beyond pick up joints. The cocktail has been reborn and vintage cocktails have been reinstated with gusto. Heading to the bar has now become an experience, sometimes quite pricey with $12 cocktails and $15 wine by the glass, but delivering an experience of food and drink you didn’t get ten years ago.
What hasn’t broken the bank yet, however, is bar food. It still remains the best place to get great eats at reasonable prices.
The vintage cocktails and crafted culinary cocktails have made their way across America, creating excitement, and making plenty of room for fun food items to appear on the menu. Staples now include truffle fries, deep-fried brussels sprouts, falafel, roasted broccoli, baked oysters, country ham, and brisket tacos. The shared plate was born through this new bar culture and bar food has gained new respect.
Desserts, however, aside from cookies are not often so hand-held and you need some hand held desserts when you’re eating at a bar.
If I had a bar, I would, of course, have innovative, fun food to accompany these great crafted cocktails, making sure to use the local farms as one of my sources. A hand held dessert taco is one of my more exciting ideas. I picked blueberries this week and the corn was picked the day I got it from Burns Farms.
Fresh corn and hand-picked blueberries were stuffed into a taco with some cream cheese and then dredged with egg and crushed cereal. This is accompanied by a blueberry old fashioned (recipes for berry cocktails coming Wednesday).
I could easily see several dessert tacos in my mind, piled on a shared plate and served with a variety of mini cocktails.
Isn’t it genius to eat a dessert taco that’s not so sweet that it could be just the bite you’re looking for.
The idea for this dessert taco came to me the way good food ideas should be born, from fresh, local ingredients from local farms. I had picked the blueberries at the blueberry farm next to us on Wednesday and my friend picked the fresh corn a few days ago. The Creative Cooking Crew’s challenge this month was tacos. I knew I wanted a dessert taco, something fun, different and addicting. A full round of creative tacos will be presented on Lazaro cooks on Monday and you can also view all the recipes the Creative Cooking Crew has done on our Pinterest Board.
The blueberries and corn bring sweetness and texture and the honey-kissed cream cheese holds it together. Here’s a great part of this. I used crushed cereal (honey oats) to dredge the tortilla in before frying, for a sweet crunch.
How adorable is this dish? Squash blossom spaghetti is so very Italian, yet you’re not going to see it on a menu anytime soon.
These squash blossoms are accompanied by yellow zucchini that grows in my backyard garden. It seemed such a shame not to eat the flowers that could dress up a dish like this. I showed you how to fry them here. I stuffed them with goat cheese here.
This is fried yellow squash with its blossoms. Fresh from the garden and so fun and tasty.
After giving the yellow squash a good salt bath and drawing out the moisture with paper towels, it was dredged in egg and flour and fried quickly. Backyard garden basil and parsley were added to the flour for flavor, and as soon as it topped on spaghetti that had olive oil and garlic, it got got a dose of pecorino romano cheese.
The squash blossom is prepared a little differently. I simply mix some water and flour together, and fry quickly.
This is such a pretty summer meal. Done in less than thirty minutes. Enjoy!
In my last Sunday’s post, I presented you with a black pepper-herbed biscuit and fried green tomatoes. I promised to return with sausage gravy biscuits in a celebration of southeastern cuisine, which has become refined in the last ten years, but will never sacrifice it identity entirely, which is comfort food, created in humble kitchens from back in the day where food was never wasted and breakfasts were as big as suppers.
You don’t have to have venison sausage. This recipe works with any sausage. However, if you want to make the perfect biscuit, use this recipe or the plain fluffy biscuit here, which also features a video. I promise you success, as amplified by the numerous emails I get about how easy and wonderful these biscuits are.
Biscuits with venison sausage gravy is new for me, especially the venison sausage part. You don’t have to have Since I make a lot of biscuits, people always ask me about sausage gravy, and I have always been dumbfounded about its appeal. I’m one to notice things, and I’ve noticed that sausage gravy stirs up that reactive food memory that I often talk about. There has to be something to this sausage gravy, and maybe since my neighbor gave us this venison sausage, I’ll give it a try. You don’t have to use venison sausage; you can use pork sausage.
You don’t have to go out and shoot a deer for this recipe. Any ordinary pork sausage will work, and maybe even a little better, because this venison sausage had no fat. It was so lean, I had to add fat into the pan. If you use regular sausage, you probably won’t have that problem. Just make sure to use equal amounts of flour and fat.
Then it’s a bit of roux with flour and fat, and then some milk. Who knew this was something so easy to make. You’ll need biscuits and the best recipe on the internet is right here at Spinach Tiger. I can stand by that, because of the overwhelming response I get in email after people have made them. The biscuits usually stress people out, and I’ve removed that stress for you. I’ve flavored these with sage, adding chopped fresh sage to the flour before the butter is added. Anytime you want to flavor biscuits with herbs just be sure to add the herbs to the flour before you add in anything else.
So tell me did you grow up eating sausage gravy or this something new and wonderful to try?
Each Spring and each Fall, I take all of my clothes out of my closet and replace them with the current season. It disturbs me to no end to see a winter scarf in July, or a bathing suit in December. The summer down comforter goes on the bed an winter one is boxed and put away. I’m one of those who constantly changes out the pillows and flower arrangements to fit the season, and I get neurotically upset if I accidentally come across a Christmas decoration lying around loosely in the garage in May, which always happens.
I’m not a neat freak. I just like to try to hold onto to the present time. I don’t live in the past, nor do I want to think about my Thanksgiving dinner in August. I’m not a planner. When, as a blogger, I’m a bit forced to plan ahead, it makes me feel like someone is pushing me to my grave, making time go faster, and skipping over today’s beautiful day.
Am I bit crazy to feel so strongly about this? I don’t know. I just know this.
It’s 8:00 a.m. on a Friday morning and I have 15 hours to live this day. I want my minutes to be in this day, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but in this beautiful day, which brings me to this stunning, summer chicken soup that can only be made on a summer day with yellow squash from my garden and peaches and cream corn from Burns Farm. You can’t have this in the winter time. That’s a different chicken soup. This is the soup that celebrates a very sunny day, with all its yellow colors.
I don’t want to think about cozy fires or soft wool sweaters. I want to think about a bright pink dress, my feet on the grass, as I go to my garden, to pick out the yellow squash, basil and parsley. I want to feel the warmth of the big fat yellow sun beating down on us, reminding us to smile and enjoy life, enjoy today, this minute. That is how I arrived at a summer chicken soup.
This soup can be make with a homemade chicken stock and a small whole chicken. It can also be make with left over chicken, a rotisserie chicken and store bought broth. The thing that makes it special and so fresh tasting is barely cooking the vegetables, adding the chicken, corn and avocado to each bowl as it’s being served.
This version below skipped the avocado. You could also add in a teaspoon of fresh pesto or add in some tomatoes. Make it your own, but make it say Summer Chicken Soup. You can get some chicken soup pointers here at my fast chicken soup and you can make homemade chicken stock here with ten tips to help you out,
Now, how about you? Are already in Autumn in your head, or are you basking in the lazy days of summer?
2 cups soup pasta such as stars, pastina or noodles
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
sprigs of thyme
2 yellow squash, diced
2 cups kale
1 avocado as garnish
2 ears of corn, shucked, cooked (see below)
Cooking Corn on the Cob
Rinse corn and microwave four minutes, by placing damp cloth or wet paper towels over corn.
It will easily release and be cooked.
You can either make a fresh chicken broth with this recipe above or used canned. If you make your own chicken broth, use a whole chicken, boil just until the chicken is cooked and then remove. Take meat off chicken, place bones back in to continue making the broth.
Cook noodles separately, and cook corn separately.
Once broth is done, remove all bones and herbs.
Add in squash, kale.
Serve in bowls, adding chicken, corn, avocado and fresh parsley.
Cook time can be greatly reduced if you use store bought chicken broth and a rotisserie chicken.
I’ve been invited to attend the Asheville Food & Wine Festival in August. There are three big days of events, starting Thursday night, August 21st and ending Saturday, August 23rd at the Grand Tasting. Attend one or all thee events. Asheville is gaining such a reputation for food and is one of the key cities sparking accelerated interest in Southeastern cuisine.
Leading up to the event, they are hosting weekly chef cook-off contests wrapped around a secret ingredient. These challenges began in early July and as the round-ups end, one chef will be named Asheville’s best chef. The first challenge was corn and the second challenge was blueberries.
The next challenge is between Chef Ryan Kline of Buffalo Nickel in Asheville and Chef Regan Stachler of Little hen in Apex, North Carolina Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at Pack’s Tavern. More details can be found here.
The excitement around the food and wine festival brings southeastern cuisine front and center, although no one would argue that while it remains the same, it’s constantly evolving and sometimes even going back to it’s original roots, using heirloom herbs, and old tattered recipes.
When I think about the Southeastern cuisine of the country, I think of comfort food and the warm welcome of biscuits at the table. You might think of something else. Perhaps it’s mac and cheese, collard greens, shrimp and grits, corn bread, tomato sandwiches, cobbler or fried chicken. Perhaps it’s all of those.
No matter what a Southern restaurant serves, I always think of biscuits. The last few restaurants I’ve eaten at in the South may have stretched their menus to include a few entrees not quite Southern, or have put very unique twists on familiar ingredients, but people smiled the most when they saw the biscuits coming.
In the South, biscuits slide their way into fine dining establishments, something perplexing until you think about the impression they make. American biscuits are such a simple food with simple ingredients. Flour, liquid (milk or buttermilk), leavening and fat. The result is a savory quickbread, crispy on the outside, pillow soft on the inside. I’ve discovered that if you make a biscuit that taps into childhood memories, such as meemaw at her wood-burning stove, it’s enough to make a grown man cry.
In the book, that serves as a companion to the PBS documentary, The Rise of the Southern Biscuit, author, Maryann Byrd, chronicles several southern restaurants, cafes, diners, and dives that still make their own biscuits. I got to try quite a few in Nashville places. I tried Aretha Frankenstein’s giant sized signature biscuits in Chattanooga and I even made them. I’m anxious to try the Early Girl Eatery in Asheville, described as a bohemian style restaurant serving farm to table food, as they have a featured recipe in the book.
As I peeled through the pages, I kept looking for the biscuit secret. I read everyone’s tips and realized the two most important things about biscuit making; Sticky dough and practice. After experimentation, I developed my own perfect recipe and unique method, which has gained me five stars on google, and my promise for success, if you follow my easy instructions. I’ve written about tips here and even did a video here. The popularity and amount of emails have proven to me that the biscuit is one of the most beloved items in American cuisine, but most particularly in the Southeast.
The Southeastern cuisine has probably evolved more in the past ten years than any other part of the country. In some instances, catching up a bit, and in many instances setting food trends. No matter what new food item or style hits the marketplace, people always come back to basics, to remember a time when they ate without a tweet, or instagram, and actually looked at each other. In fact, it’s almost downright shameful to sit at a Southern table with a phone in hand, communicating to people somewhere else, when what should be happening is a building of relationships through the power of comfort food, food that will be remembered through the next generation.
This, of course doesn’t meant that a humble biscuit can’t be special while still maintaining earthy roots. I went to my garden and picked herbs today to make these biscuits along with a few green tomatoes.
There are so many ways to eat a Black Pepper Herbed Biscuit:
A sandwich of fried green tomato, bacon and runny egg makes a great breakfast. These fried green tomatoes were fried with panko breadcrumbs, but you could also use just flour. If you want to oven bake fried green tomatoes, here’s a recipe for parmesan crusted oven fried green tomatoes.
Black Pepper Biscuits with Venison Sausage Gravy (or regular sausage gravy). I’ll be featuring two ways to make sausage gravy on Wednesday.
In the meantime, think about making your plans to head to the Asheville Food & Wine Festival, celebrating Southern Food and Local Wines at their finest.
July is one of my favorite months of the year. Summer fruits make me sing songs and bake pies on a daily basis. Peaches, berries and cherries accompany long, sunny days where people are in good moods, only made sweeter by pies, cobblers and crisps. July is the month I’m happy to turn my oven on every day to try to discover another way to turn these fruits into something beautiful to eat. This is not your ordinary or typical cherry pie, as I used a mix of bing and Rainier cherries, baked at their optimal eating point, leaving them whole (seeded), and still juicy and delicious.
I was inspired to make this kind of pie from the beautiful cookbook that is all about fruit. Fruitful, Four Seasons of Fresh Fruit Recipes is the best book on fruit I’ve ever seen. I’ve had the book for a few months, and I’ve been waiting for July to bake from it. I’m also giving away a copy (details below).
Are you as fascinated by the science of food as I am? Although I’m a creative type, I need to know about the food, the who, what, when, where, why, how of it. I’m not a big bang theory type, but if it was possible, I would enjoy a Sheldon type friend who could tell me more than I ever wanted to know about food.
Fruitful does this. It satisfies my love of food and beauty at the same time. The pictures are soulful and inviting. Each fruit gets it’s own informative page followed by mouth watering recipes (many contributed by names you would know such as Daniel Boulard).
The cookbook itself blossoms from Red Jacket Orchards, and continues the Nickolson family heritage. Sweet and savory, season by season, you will fall in love with the recipes and the heart of this book. From grilled skirt steak with blackberry serrano glaze to pear and pumpkin soup, expect the unexpected along with jams, jellies and fruit based cocktails.
For instance, I always wanted to know why the Rainier cherry was so expensive, which always made me want it a bit more. I put Rainier cherries in that category of Oprah Winfrey food. “Well if I was Oprah, I’d buy $100 balsamic vinegar and Rainier cherries all time.” I tend to think like that. I’m not Oprah and Rainier cherries are quite a luxury at $8 a pound and I was lucky enough to find them on sale for $4. I snapped them up and remembered the Fruitful book had a lovely lattice topped cherry pie made with a variety of cherries, including Rainier.
The Big Bang of Bing and Rainier Cherries
“So Sheldon, why are Rainier cherries are so expensive?”
If asked, he would give you an explosive and lengthy, yet interesting answer regarding climate, pruning, wind factor and the picker with just the right set of hands. They take quite a bit of finesse to cultivate, pick and attain that perfect amount of sweetness. A cross between a bing and a van cherry, Rainier cherries are thin skinned, golden, and extra sweet. While the bing cherry is picked quickly and processed easily, the Rainier cherry must be picked by the stem and placed, not dropped into a basket due to their mandated brix value.
There is a thing called a brix value of sweetness, usually used for wine, honey, and fruit juice. Washington state requires Rainiers to reach a minimum of 17 brix before they can be picked. To give perspective, peaches are a 13 brix. Getting there is difficult, as the temperature has to be perfect. Rainiers are temperamental, can bruise easily or break through the skin before that level of sweetness arrives.
Rainier cherries are almost too much of a luxury to bake into a pie, but in this case, the cherries remain whole and juicy.
This isn’t the typical cherry pie made with sour cherries. This is more pastry like, a little more grown up, and surprisingly the cherry pie for those rare birds who don’t like cherry pie.
The Lattice crust enables you to see the different colors and makes this a beautiful presentation. This pie can be made as individual tarts, served with vanilla ice cream for a fabulous and elegant summer dinner party!
milk or cream for brushing on crush (original recipe uses an egg wash)
Whisk flour, sugar, salt together. Add cold butter that has been cut into small pieces. Use a pastry cutter or food processor to incorporate butter until it is in small pea sized pieces. Add water, slowly.
Form into a dough ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Seed all cherries and place in a bowl.
Add in tapioca or cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon juice and vanilla. Allow to stand for 15 minutes. Take out pie dough and allow that to stand for 10 minutes until warm enough to roll out.
Divide in half. Roll out half and place into a pie pan.
Put in cherries.
Use the remaining pie dough to roll and cut long and short strips to form a lattice crust.
Bake at 425 for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
There is a recipe for a pie crust, very similar to my own. I used my own, because I am so familiar with it and it works for me. The original recipe uses three types of cherries. I only used two.
I'm Angela Roberts, blogger, freelance writer, recipe developer, food photographer. Welcome to my site, featuring uncompromised, beautiful, delicious food, emphasizing seasonal, fresh, and local ingredients. I also spread the word about the places I like to eat and travel to. I live in Nashville.
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