The first in a long list of cherry preserving recipes. My fingernails may be permanently dyed purple, but I’ve got 11 pounds queued up for the dehydrator, 3 pounds pitted and in the new freezer, and 3 batches of cherry rhubarb pie filling. I’ve also thanked various deities for this amazingly handy and effective cherry pitter – and thanked Amazon for cheap-o, overnight, Saturday delivery!
More recipes to follow!
Adapted from Cherry Rhubarb Lattice Pie in The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Sweet Cherry Rhubarb Pie Filling
- 10 oz (1 and 1/2 cups) sweet cherries, washed, pitted, with juice
- 8 oz rhubarb, washed, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup (2 and 3/8 oz) sugar or honey
- 1/8 cup filtered water
- Combine cherries, rhubarb, sugar and water in a medium bowl and toss well to combine. Allow to macerate at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. (If you wish, you can add a tablespoon of lemon juice, or a 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid, to prevent browning of the cherries; mine macerated for at least 30 minutes and there was mild browning, but not very much).
- Transfer the cherry-rhubarb mixture to a quart-sized freezer container or Ziplock bag (make sure to label with the amounts and type of sugar) and store frozen for up to 6 months OR process in a boiling water bath (see Options).
- To use: Thaw pie filling completely if frozen. Transfer the filling to a medium saucepan, add 2 tbsp cornstarch and a pinch of sea salt, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring gently. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool completely, without stirring (which will break down the rhubarb pieces), in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Spoon filling into an unbaked pastry shell (Rose suggests the cream cheese version) and bake for 30 – 40 minutes (until the filling is thickly bubbling) at 425 degrees F (400 degrees F, convection). Cool for at least 3 hours before serving.
Yields about 3 cups of filling, or enough for one 9-inch lattice or open-faced pie.
- The original recipe calls for sour cherries (10 oz unpitted, 8 oz pitted), 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Tai doesn’t like sour cherries, so we picked only sweet black cherries. To adjust for the change, I decreased the sugar and the water from the original recipe.
- I experimented with sweeteners: one filling with organic turbinado sugar, one with organic evaporated cane juice, and one with local honey. I’ll update on any taste/texture notes as I use the fillings.
- This recipe is for a lattice pie, which are typically flat across the top so the lattice can lay flat, and therefore require less filling than many other fruit pies; if you make an open-faced pie, this amount of filling is probably still fine, but if you prefer a double-crust pie that is mounded high, you’ll likely need to increase the amount of filling; I would guess by at least 25%.
- To can this pie filling instead of freezing: After macerating, bring the pie filling to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to a simmer, and fill hot, sterilized jars to 1/4-inch headspace and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. The above recipe yields about 3 cups, so adjust accordingly to fill pint jars; for quart jars process for 20 minutes.
Store frozen pie filling for up to 6 months. Store canned pie filling in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.