Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's Cherry Season!

I have a sour cherry tree in my backyard and there is also one at my uncle's place. Each summer, the trees produce a bumper crop of fruit. Two years ago, I picked over 40 pounds of cherries from my uncle's tree alone! There is something beautifully tempting about those glistening red fruits gleaming in the summer sun. Although it is a fair bit of work, I really enjoy the harvest. Of my family, I'm probably the one who spends the most time perched on a ladder filling bucket after bucket. My grandfather was the one who planted the cherry tree over at my uncle's place many years ago and although he has since passed away, every time I pick cherries I feel as if he is smiling down from heaven. Even a suburban girl like me can understand and appreciate how harvest time is a blessing from God. :)

This is what 10 lbs of cherries look like. Yes, I weighed them. :)

So what does one do with 40 pounds of cherries? I give most of them away to friends and family who either eat them straight, bake with them or make sauces, jams or gelatos (yum!) with them. My sister and I have made our share of pies, jams and dried fruit. One of my favorite things to make is a cherry crisp. I am not much of a baker so this easy recipe appealed to me when I first found it. (Okay, the tempting pictures accompanying the recipe also had something to do with it.)

Recently, I made one to bring to a friend's BBQ. I was actually feeling a bit nervous as I was preparing the ingredients because I hadn't baked this in two years and wasn't sure how it would turn out.

A lovely golden brown. 

I should have taken it out about a minute earlier because there were a few crumbs that were burnt but all in all, looking pretty good.

As I wrote to a friend in an email: "Baking is an act of faith. You mix all the ingredients, pour it in a pan, say a prayer over it and then put it in the oven. You can't do anything to fix it while it bakes. Then when it comes out, you have to trust that it tastes okay because you can't really cut a piece out to try it before taking it over to someone else's BBQ." Did I actually pray over this while it was baking? You better believe I did. And it ended up tasting great! ;)

Here's the recipe (I found it on by ARANDYGAIL):

Ingredients for the filling:
4 cups pitted sour cherries
1.5 cups white sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the crust:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar
0.5 cup butter
0.5 cup shortening

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. In a large bowl, combine cherries, white sugar, and 4 tablespoons of flour. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the 1.5 cups of flour, oats, and brown sugar. Cut in butter and shortening until crumbly. Sprinkle over cherry filling.
4. Bake in oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

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