Fresh Sour Cherry Pie in a Jar, Crumb Topped

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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

Filling:
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.

Crumb Topping:
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.

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Pitting cherries
Without a pitter – forever.  With a pitter – 10 minutes!

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Beautiful cherries cooking down

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Pastry ready in the jars

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