Tammy at the Swanson Family Farm’s stand had no idea she brought pie cherries with her to the Everett Farmer’s Market on Sunday. She opened the cooler, saw them and had to call the farm to ask what to price them. These tart, perfectly round red jewels are rare finds at farmer’s markets during cherry season. The birds usually get to them first. This year, Tammy and her family’s farm were lucky. And until they last, you will be able to purchase these beautiful pie cherries at the Sunday market at the Everett Marina.
What makes pie cherries special? For one, they make the best-tasting pie. They are a baker’s delight. Most of the canned cherry pie fillings you see at the grocery store are made using these sour cherries. They are tart and juicy. You could eat them on their own but they are an acquired taste. For those interested in food preservation, these pie cherries are best suited for jams, jellies and syrups.
How do I remove the pits without a cherry pitter? Pie cherries are smaller than sweet cherries which means that you’d need to be slightly more delicate while pitting them. We found a great video online which makes use of the “paper clip” method. Pie-baking experts swear by it and it works well with any type of cherry and a little bit of patience. Here is the video demonstrating the method. Of course, if you’re pitting large quantities of cherries, investing in a cherry pitter won’t be such a bad idea.
And what’s a pie cherry without pie? Deb Perelman of the well-loved Smitten Kitchen blog has this Sour Cherry Pie with Almond Crumble. Joy the Baker makes a double pie crust that will take good care of the cherry filing. Lastly, you can print out this recipe for Sour Cherry Pie and use it forever. You can also substitute the all-purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
Head on to the Everett Farmer’s Market on Sunday from 11am-4pm. Swanson Family Farms has pie/sour cherries, loganberries, tayberries, blueberries and more.
Edlyn G D’Souza is a writer and the more she says that, the truer it becomes. She has her roots in Goa and Mumbai in India, where she worked as a journalist for 5 years. She now lives in Washington where she writes in her blog egeedee.com, draws cat stuff, never tires of seeing Mt Rainier and dreams about changing the world through her stories.