Cherry Pies Ought to Be You

Take aways: Frank Sinatra likes cherry pie, I need to plant a cherry tree, and it’s us vs. the birds?

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

Ok, so there’s this song that you might not know about but that you really need to know about. It’s a duet sung by Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney, and when I first heard it I just!!?!? Does it get any better than these two?!?

The duet is called “Cherry Pies Ought to be You,” and it basically consists of each trying to out-do the other with compliments. They get competitive. It’s grand.

Sinatra’s first go is the song’s title, “Cherry pies ought to be you,” and I just adore that. (I love Clooney’s response, too: “Autumn skies ought to be you.”) Although I guess the meaning could be kind of ambiguous. Like is he saying she’s sweet? Flaky? (I’ll stop.)

I’m choosing to see it this way: Sinatra must think cherry pies are outstanding, but not quite as outstanding as Rosemary Clooney.

Don’t we all.

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

Cherry pie holds a special place in my grandpa’s heart as well. He mentions it in a collection of food memories he wrote a few years back. (Sound familiar? He helped inspire memo2munch’s new format!)

“My mother was a wonderful baker,” he writes. “One of her specialties was cherry pie made from the tart cherries that grew on five cherry trees in our own back yard. When the cherries were ripe, my father picked loads of them which my mother made into pies, cherry slices, and also compotes.”

There’s a common theme among recipes that use tart cherries: “[They] required the use of much sugar, which when combined with the tartness of the cherries resulted in the most tantalizing pastries and compotes.” (common theme #2 —-> I want all of them in my belly.)

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

The cherry tree tradition was continued when my mom was growing up. She told me, “We also had a cherry tree in the corner of the backyard. Every spring, the cherry tree would fill with white blossoms, which turned into red sour cherries in the summer.”

However, my mom also remembers some unexpected cherry competition. “Every year, we would hope for lots of cherries so that my mom could make cherries preserves and a pie or two; and almost every year, the birds would get to the cherries before we did. Have you ever seen a pit attached to the stem, growing on a tree? We had a lot of those.”

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

On rare occasions, my mom said they would beat the birds to the spoils and were actually able to use some of their own cherries! “I remember my mom making cherry preserves. I would stand at the sink and pit the cherries using a paper clip. My fingers would turn red (my favorite color) from all the cherry juice.”

Ok, wait, pitting cherries with a paper clip? Yep, it’s a thing! Here’s a YouTube video to prove it.

I have to ruin the magic of these memories and tell you that I did not pit the cherries for today’s pies with a paperclip. I bought pre-pitted and frozen cherries and stood in the checkout line very pleased with the time and juice-stained fingers I would save. (I also bought the piecrust. Because honestly, I can’t pit cherries, make piecrust, and still pass survive biochem. These are my limitations. Just keeping it real.)

However, I then realized I had to halve all the cherries… So I got frozen fingers instead. It’s fine.

Cherry Pies | memo2munch

Pleasepleaseplease send me some of your food memories! Preferably fall-themed as we are officially in the season. You can submit them anonymously or not right here. 🙂

Mini Cherry Pies
(makes 6 mini pies or 1 standard double crust pie)

Ingredients

1 pint or 3-4 cups pitted and halved cherries (I used frozen)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (1 cup if using tart cherries)
Dash lemon juice
Piecrust (premade or homemade—enough for one double crust pie)
Milk and sugar for brushing and sprinkling pies before baking (optional, I used coconut milk)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C. Lightly grease 6 muffin tins.

2. Combine the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
Roll out the pie dough and cut into six 5-inch circles and six 3-inch circles. (I placed bowls on the dough and cut around them.) Prepare the pies one at a time by first pressing one of the larger circles into the tin, leaving the edges hanging around the outside. Fill generously with cherry filling so that it extends a little higher than the top of the tin. Cover the filling with one of the smaller dough circles, and crimp the leftover edges of the first dough circle as desired. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

3. Use a fork to prick holes in the top of each pie. Brush each pie lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes for small pies, 40-50 minutes for a standard 9-inch pie. Let cool completely before cutting.

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler | memo2munch

There are certain times when it’s ok to post a recipe with lots of butter and refined white flour on your (mostly) healthy food blog.

Those instances include, but are not limited to:

-You’re in Italy, and dairy doesn’t bother you here (I know, but I’m so serious)
-You’re in Italy
-Cherries are in season
-The idea of cherry cobbler with ripe juicy cherries and a scoop of creamy vanilla gelato is IRRESISTIBLE

I mean, it was out of my control, really.

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler | memo2munch

A friend of mine and I discovered a farmer’s market in Brera that happens every Monday and Thursday, and it’s absolutely jam-packed with reasonably-priced fruits, veggies, local honey, cheeses, meats, and even fish! (Ugh, JAM-packed. I can’t handle myself today.)

I posted the picture below on Instagram of our conquests.

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler | memo2munch

Every fruit stand was overflowing with gorgeous produce, but it was clear that cherries were the main attraction. The vendors wouldn’t hesitate to let you sample one to prove their’s was the best… so we sampled. 😉

Oh my goodness, these were the BEST cherries I have ever tasted, hands down. The flavor was so concentrated, it was as if someone had taken the flavor of 30 cherries and condensed it into one little fruit.

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler | memo2munch

Actually, the same could be said of the color. My hands were sooo purple by the time we finished pitting all of the cherries for the cobbler! Just look at that juice:

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler | memo2munch

I bought so many cherries that something needed to be done with them or else they’d go bad before I could eat them all. Enter: cherry cobbler! Simple, rustic, lets the cherries keep their spotlight.

Um, I’d like some more more more, please.

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler | memo2munch

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler | memo2munch

Things are going well at the Expo! We had a visit from the First Lady (can’t even explain the coolness), and Mario Batali came with her (wearing his orange crocs, of course)!

Each country participating in the Expo has a designated national day, so we’re looking forward to July 4th here at the USA Pavilion!!! Some countries have had parades or special performances highlighting their culture. Yesterday I saw a Korean B-Boy (break dancing) group called Morning of Owl perform! That was prettttty dang awesome.

I’d tell you what we’re planning, but I don’t even know yet! No head-spinning from this one, though. That’s for sure.

Enjoy some cobbler this week! xo

6 Ingredient Cherry Cobbler
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups pitted cherries
  2. 1.25 cups + 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
  3. 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  5. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  6. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  7. Confectioner's sugar to finish, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C.
  2. Mix cherries with the 1 tbsp. flour, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until it looks like a paste. Place the mixture into a square baking dish and cook in the oven until the juices start to release.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients except the confectioners sugar until you have a crumbly dough, similar to sugar cookie dough.
  4. Remove baking dish from oven and top with chunks of dough. Gently combine with berries so that you still have chunks of dough together and some remains on top.
  5. Bake covered until sturdy, then bake uncovered briefly to brown.
  6. Dust with confectioner's sugar to serve.
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