About 15 months ago I planted my first pie cherry tree – a dwarf Montmorency Cherry. I love pie cherries. I’m not much of a sweet cherry eater (don’t be a hater!) but I love cooking with cherries and sour cherries are the only ones to cook with.
I thought perhaps it would take a couple years for my tree to really produce cherries, but I lucked out to a relatively large crop for a new tree – several pounds.
Pie-in-a-jar is the treat I made for my family today, to celebrate our first Montmorency crop.
Cherry Pie in a Jar
3 Cups Fresh pitted sour cherries
2/3 C Sugar
1/4 C Corn Starch
1/4 C Water
1/4 tsp almond extract
Pit your cherries and place in a heavy saucepan. Add sugar. While it heats, whisk together water and cornstarch to make a slurry and set aside. Bring to a bubbling boil and when at a full rolling boil, dribble in your corn starch slurry while stirring. Mixture will thicken immediately. Remove from heat, add almond and set aside to cool.
Pastry – I used a cornmeal sour cream pastry, but you could also use a basic butter:
2 C Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 C Cornmeal
1 C Chilled Butter
1/3 C Sour Cream
1/2 C water
Whisk together half cup water and 1/3 C sour cream and put ice into it to chill – set aside. Combine flour, salt, sugar and cornmeal in a cuisinart and pulse. Add chilled butter, sliced into small pieces. Pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal (smallish pebbles – smaller than peas). Then, with Cuisinart running, drizzle in your ice water / sour cream mixture until pastry pulls together. Flatten to a disc, wrap in plastic and place in fridge to rest at least an hour, or up to a day.
1/2 C Flour
1/2 C Oats
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Melted Butter
1 tsp salt
Combine dry ingredients. Pour melted butter into ingredients and mix with your fingertips until mixture is crumbly and not dry.
To assemble pies: Roll out your pastry. Using the lid of the small Mason jar (or I used the beautiful Bonne Maman jars) cut a small circle and press into the bottom of the jar. Don’t grease the jar. Cut a strip about 6″ x 3″ and slide into the side of the jar, pressing in. Spoon in 1/4 C or so of filling (to your taste) and top with a spoonful of crumb topping. Continue until jars are finished. This recipe makes 5 – 6 small jars.
Bake at 375 for 25 – 30 minutes.
Without a pitter – forever. With a pitter – 10 minutes!
Pastry ready in the jars