Hold the Phone!

Look what Mrs. Pastry and the girls brought me from up North! Two quarts of fresh sour cherries. Oh yeah. If there’s one thing that stinks about living in the more southerly portions of the United States it’s that fresh sour cherries are all but impossible to find. If you don’t hear much from me today it’s because I’ll be spending what free time I have making pie. Excuse me, won’t you?

17 thoughts on “Hold the Phone!”

  1. Now you are talking! I love all cherries. Down here in Texas there is also never any sour cherries. Sweet ones, we only get Ranier. I love going to Michigan in the summer, lots and lots of fresh cherries!
    Please make something good with those wonderful cherries.

    1. I’ll do my best, Martha, thanks!

      Yes Michigan cherries are fabulous. As I mentioned I do miss my former easy access to them. I shall put up some pie pictures a bit later. Cheers,

      – Joe

  2. Lucky you Joe! I can relate to your excitement. Years ago a friend had a very productive sour cherry tree and would invite me to pick my own. He used his allotment to make Cherry Herring, Swedish maybe, not sure about the spelling; however the drink made for a novel Christmas gift. Take a gallon jug or jar, fill half with cherries, pits and all. Add a half gallon of vodka and a cup of sugar, stir. Place in a dark cool place for six months until the Christmas season. What you have at this point is a lovely red rich liquor. Fill festive jars, sans the cherries, and give as gifts. Save cherries in the fridge for a reward for all your hard work. On the night before Christmas or whenever, eat cherries, spit pits, and prepare to get a little loopy as these little gems are loaded.

    1. Ah yes, I remember cherry Heering from my Minnesota days. Basically rumtopf Scandinavian style. I never made any but I’d be willing to try! Thanks, Sweetbay!

      – Joe

  3. Dear Master Pastry,
    We are so envious. Sour cherries are an impossible to get commodity in California. Once I found them at a random grocery store and bought the whole eight pounds they had on offer for pies and jam. None found since. Three options:drive to Utah, fly to Michigan, or internet order from Washington for $125. I am considering. Please enjoy your treasure.

    1. Yow, that’s an expensive pie. And indeed I do feel lucky. I had sour cherry pie for breakfast this morning and felt like a king! Photos soon.

      – Joe

  4. Oh, you lucky duck! As Marylou stated, you almost never find sour cherries in CA. In Sunnyvale CA, Olsen’s, a former cherry orchard family and current cherry shop, does special order some in from Washington state. They are a variety of morello (sp?) cherries which are sour but are more suited to juice, jams and candied/condiment applications. I did make pie from them but they remain almost too firm as compared to the bright red pie cherries. I am so envious of your “get”!

  5. Being just up the river in Madison, I can attest that we can grow good sour cherries here, but I haven’t seen a decent tree in years. My uncle had two or three and my brother rented a place with a large tree in back, all filled with cherries. But they got cut down over the years and never replaced. It always seemed that the standard trees produced best. The dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties are okay if that’s all you can find to buy. North Star and Montmorency.

    1. Don’t you hate that? When we first moved to Louisville we made a friend who had an apricot tree in her back yard. The jam we made was out of this world. The next year she cut it down and I’ve never found another. Why won’t people just do what I say and make everything easy?


      – Joe

  6. Hello,

    I’m curious, how many seeds does your sour cherry have? They look like the ours. Most of the cherries we have in our country are sour. Its a real rarity to find a sweet cherry tree. SO i am loking forward to see how you make your pie!!!!



    1. Hello Melody!

      These probably are very similar to the cherries in Guyana. All cherries in the New World are imported from Europe and/or Asia. As it happens, sour cherries were especially popular during the Age of Exploration. As far as I know all cherries have a single pit, but then I’m not a botanist. How many do yours have?

      – Joe

      1. Hi Joe!!,

        Our pits [we say seeds] usually are four. They form together but can be loosened easily. Especially if you rub them to squash them, they loosen. I’ll try to get a picture for you. Our tree is now growing. There is a cheery that we call Suriname cheery. its mostly sour, rarely you can find a sweet one. that has a heavy flavour and has one seed. I’ll try to get pictures of both.


        1. Very interesting indeed Melody. Please do send a picture when you can since I’ll be interested!

          – joe

  7. I was able to pick a few pounds of sour cherries in New Mexico at the end of June this year. I was so excited because I’d never seen them while I was living in Kansas. I didn’t have a lot of time for baking as I was taking two graduate classes at the time, but I still managed to make some jam and freeze a pie’s worth with some sugar. I’m thinking cherry pie may need to happen before school starts in a few weeks!

    1. I highly recommend it, Catherine! And I had no idea sour cherries grew in New Mexico. Nice to know!


      – Joe

  8. Until I read your post, I didn’t realize that parts of the world were sour cherriless. I spend most of my summers near Sleeping Bear, where, I have to confess, cherry overload sometimes sends me in search of the amazing blueberries that also grow there. After reading this post, as well as the comments, I will drive down to the Cherry Hut tomorrow morning and pick up a couple pies with a renewed sense of gratitude.

    1. I thought the same thing since I’d spent almost all my life living north of, oh let’s say, Indianapolis. Just a few miles down the road and there are none. It stinks. But the bourbon is good. Don’t ask me which I’d rather have.

      – Joe

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