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This week we are pleased to welcome a new contributor to the Recipe corner. Friar, the Big Dawg caught my attention with his Purple Mashed Potato recipe, which we will bring you at a later date, and kindly agreed to share his inventiveness with us all. If you have any requests for a particular recipe or would like to feature your own personal favourite recipe (but do remember that you should not submit anything which may be copyright), then send an email to Shazz.

Summer Cherry and Blueberry Crumb Pie

The other day my mom brought over cherries. A lot of cherries. Apparently they were on sale at the store, as she had purchased several pounds. My wife and I aren't particularly fond of cherries. I mean, they're fine and all, but when you eat them your hands get all red and then there is the whole pit-removal process; very labour intensive fruit. Regardless, when my mother left she had given us 8 pounds of gorgeous ripe cherries, which we were not going to eat.

And then there are the blueberries. Apparently , this was a banner year for Michigan blueberries (which is meaningless to me here in Chicago, Illinois, USA). The blueberries were magnificent and also on sale. Ironically, Michigan, the country's #1 cherry producer had an early thaw and then a frost that killed most of the northern cherry crop, but spared the southern growing blueberries. Our cherries were from the West Coast somewhere, Oregon or Washington or something. My mother was merciful with the blueberries only leaving us a few cartons.

My choices were simple, make pancakes and waffles with every meal for the remainder of the summer (hoping that 10 pounds of compôte would do the job), or find some other way to dispose of the beautiful fruit.


Friar's solution to the summer fruit bounty

Besides an over-zealous mother with a fondness for produce, here's what you'll need: [Makes two pies]

For the Filling

  • 1lb - 450g - of fresh blueberries
  • 1lb - 450g - cherries
  • 2 cups - 450g - granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 cups - 300g - maple syrup

For the crumb topping

  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 tablespoons of brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1 - 100g - cup of flour

OK, now here is the trick. The crust: all cooks have choices to make:

  1. Basic Pie Dough
  2. Wheatless pie dough
  3. Vanilla Wafer crust
  4. Store bought crust

There are benefits to all these kinds of crusts. Obviously those with flour restrictions would use the wheat crust and replace the crumb topping flour with cornstarch. The store bought crusts are obviously the easiest and I've found them to be, for the most part, tasty. If you are comfortable making dough, the basic pie dough does make a great pie and can be very light and flakey. The easiest dough to make is the graham cracker, it's very forgiving and can be pretty tasty. For this recipe, though, substitute vanilla wafers for the graham. The vanilla wafers are a little milder and let the fruit come forward a bit. The graham can be use though if you're feeling lucky.

Here's what to do

  1. Clean the fruit, removing the stems and pit the cherries1.
  2. No need to dry the fruit too much, just shake them dry in a colander.
  3. Add the sugar and the maple syrup and mix the fruit. Put the mix in the refrigerator and go to bed. The mix needs 4-5 hours to chill and can stay up to a week in the fridge.
  4. Click on the link to the pie crust to see what you'll need and what you'll be doing.
  5. Preheat the over to 425°F (220°C, gas mark 7)
  6. To make the crumb topping, combine all the ingredients in a food processor, with a fork or with a hand blender. The result should resemble crumbs.
  7. The correct order of things: crust on bottom, add the mix, top with crumbs.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pie is bubbly.
  9. IMPORTANT!!! Let the pie cool thoroughly before you eat it. The filling for this pie is like napalm, it's very hot and very sticky. Also the temperature of the pie might vary some, so if the pie is almost cool enough in one spot, it might be way too hot in another.
  10. You can top this pie with whipped cream, ice cream or gelato. The creaminess of the topping will contrast really well with the acidic sweetness of the fruit.

Share and Enjoy

The Recipe Archive

Friar, the Big Dawg

18.07.02 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1For pitting the cherries, just use your hand under running water and split the cherries open with your fingers. You could just squirt the seeds out, but this gets really messy and the cherries tend to be bulkier. By splitting them with your hands the cherries are a little smaller and mix better in the pie.

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