This last week I’ve been knocked down with a cold and awful cough, which was like a cruel hangover after a fun-filled weekend in Chicago. I was there for work and then Danny joined me for the weekend. Our home base was a cozy Airbnb in the heart of Logan Square, which has a farmers market on Sundays. After breakfast across the street at Lula Cafe (lake trout scramble for me, grain bowl for Danny, plum buckle and coffee for both), we had to stop by the market and look around before packing up for our flight. It’s a small but mighty market heavy on the food instead of crafts. They had all kinds of lake fish, donuts, and plenty of sour cherries and garlic scapes. Those last two farmers market darlings are not something I can get in Florida, so after some quick Google searching of TSA rules, I eagerly handed over cash for the sour cherries and scapes. #ScapesOnAPlane
I finally started feeling better this weekend and yesterday I had to put these sour cherries to good use in a pie. I landed on Melissa Clark’s Twice-Baked Sour Cherry Pie thanks to an Instagram tip from Tim of Lottie + Doof. I made a couple tweaks based on what I had around. A few dashes of Angostura bitters stepped in for the kirsch or brandy called for in the recipe. A couple tablespoons of cornstarch replaced instant tapioca.
Blind baking definitely prevented soggy bottoms on this pie crust, which was super flaky and buttery. The recipe seemed a little bit strange, calling for 15 tablespoons, just one shy of two sticks of butter. But where Clark goes I will follow, and I ended up with the best pie I’ve ever made.
I couldn’t resist cutting out hearts instead of circles for the top crust. The ruby red cherries peeking through are so dang pretty and were totally appropriate for the Fourth of July. The sour cherries were so worth toting in my purse from Chicago. Their flavor is pie perfection, with a tartness reminiscent of rhubarb. They gave me the tastiest pie, and the prettiest one to come out of my kitchen, too.
Head over to NYT for the recipe.