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Jan 12, 2013 05:57 AM

cherries for pie

Presuming it's not cherry season ( :-)
and I need something quick, does anyone have
any recommendations for good cherries for pie filling?
Frozen, canned, jar ?
Anybody have a dy-no-mite, favorite recipe?

Near me, we have a "small" TJ, Hubbel and Hudson,
and then all the usual other suspects, Kroger, HEB, Randall's
WM, etc etc etc

my sons are here for a weekend of football watching
and son #3 is requesting a Cherry Pie,
something I have only baked once before in my life....

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  1. If memory serves, when ATK or perhaps Cook's Country did cherry pie, they used fresh bing cherries because sour cherry availability is spotty. To perk up the milder flavor of the sweet cherries, they added a chopped-up unpeeled nectarine.

    So if you use non-fresh cherries, look for a fresh nectarine or this time of year, peach. It won't be good but doesn't need to be since it is there to add some tang.

    3 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      I've used bing cherries for pie. Added a lot of lemon juice for tartness. It just is missing that certain something.

      1. re: greygarious

        I made the ATK recipe during the Bing season last year - you puree two plums along with a handful of cherries and strain, then add that mixture to the remaining cherries (pitted and halved) along with a bit of extra lemon juice. It was ok, but not nearly as good as sour cherry pie. However, if you're making an out of season pie, it's a decent option.

        1. re: biondanonima

          Thanks for the correction. I had the red skin and orangey flesh in my mind's eye and didn't think plum but once I read your post I realized that's what they used.

      2. I would use frozen tart cherries.
        Not sure about a recipe, there are lots out there, depending on your taste.

        1. Yesterday I saw someone walking out of Costco with fresh cherries. They also carry frozen bags of cherries.

          1. My grandma used canned cherries, not cherry pie filling, to make her pies. I have never been able to find that type of canned cherry since I grew up.

            I made a dish called cranberry extraordinare once (for thanksgiving) and then later used that as a filling for a 'strudel'. It tasted much like her cherry filling.

            If you can't find the right kind of cherries, maybe throw a few raw cranberries in? If you can still find them, that is. If you're like me you'll have a couple of extra bags in the freezer.

            5 Replies
            1. re: thymetobake

              They keep the canned cherries with the canned peaches, pears, pineapple, etc. at my store instead of on the baking aisle.

              1. re: Becca Porter

                Thanks, Becca

                I've looked all over our stores and have determined that they just don't carry them here. Canned sour cherries aren't the only things they don't carry. Quite a few products I grew up with are unavailable here. Difference between states and city vs country, I guess.

                1. re: thymetobake

                  I see only the canned ones and only rarely in the Twin Cities, MN. But I have a freezerful of beautiful sour cherries that I purchased in Indiana. They were common at one point. I think things changed when people began baking less and instead wanted to eat sweet cherries out of hand.

                  1. re: thymetobake

                    Canned sour cherries have been harder and harder to find over the past few years. There are several major supermarket chains that simply don't carry them at all, even during the holiday season.

                    1. re: modthyrth

                      The Midwest tart cherry growers have had a tough time recently. The 2012 crop was practically decimated. The problem was caused by unseasonably warm weather in March (I remember grilling out around St. Patrick's day this year). The cherry trees responded by starting their fruit set. Then freezing temperatures came in April and destroyed the buds. Result -- practically no tart cherries to send to market.

              2. My nephew requests this pie for his birthday every year. His mom uses frozen sour cherries