Brain teaser #1: When can a food be carbon-neutral and yet come from a continent away?
Brain teaser #2: When is a fruit pie NOT vegetarian?
My family has an extremely productive pie cherry tree at their home in Olympia, Washington. The tree produces the most wonderful tart, juicy cherries, and last year my mom picked over 100 cups – AFTER pitting. That’s enough for over 25 cherry pies! So when my mother visited me last summer, she brought two pies worth of well-contained frozen cherries in her suitcase. I took another four cups of frozen cherries back with me after going home in December. I figure, if I’m going to be on the airplane anyway, it’s not really using up much extra fuel to bring some Pacific Northwest delicacies with me.
I’ll be home in Olympia all next week, and since I know they still have cherries from last year (and another bumper crop this year), I’ll probably be taking a few pies worth of cherries back to DC with me. So, this past weekend, I used up the last of my stockpile of frozen cherries to make this pie at my friend’s dinner party:
Those were supposed to be pastry stars on top, although they kind of fell into the cherry goop. And in answer to the second brain teaser above, the crust of this cherry pie used a ratio of 70% butter and 30% lard. I used the recipe found in this New York Times article, which said that using some lard could help a cook achieve pie crust perfection. Frankly, I was hoping for a little more pig flavor – I think next time I will do a 50/50 blend. But the texture was fantastic.
For the cherry filling I used the recipe at right. My mom scanned in this clipping, which my grandmother pasted onto a card for her recipe box decades ago. Click for full size!