mes chéris, mes chéris!
This summer’s late June, I made certain an extra two pounds~worth of Sour Cherries found themselves riding home from The Local (farmers' market) in my bicycle basket, jiggety~jig! At the kitchen table, my dearsweet friend, Soose, and I did set ourselves down and, then, making with the hasties, we stems~stones~and~all turned the fruits out onto cookie sheets headed to the deep freeze to hibernate the cherries for freshness, purposefully.
At last, their long anticipated, circled~and~starred in orangest~glitter~on~the~calendar day has finally arrived! (How lucky~stars lucky we are that someone took it upon themself to invent my close pal, the irrepressible hyphen! Thank the heavens and the planets, too, that I most times have the presence of mind to touch this punctuation mark that I call favorite, with my FullOfFancy paintbrush, causing it to ruffle-- a keyboard~artistc stroke that renders it helplessly beautiful! Wouldn’t you have to agree? Looksee! There go by a few strays as we speak: ~ ~ ~ ~ !)
This morning, I ceremoniously opened the Arctic part of Gemmama’s fridge (Yes, indeed I did not forget to suitcase the bagsful of the rock~solid~frozens, when I packed my things to come to my grandmother’s house to custodian it while she is Across the Pond.) to thaw the main integrals of a time~honored tradition: The Spirit Night Pitting!
It was Gemmama’s younger brother, Ned, who twice~bounced this about to be mentioned ball before getting it to roll for me, when I was a teen~ager learning pies: It was Halloween morning and I was in a snit. My needs and wants were all about baking a pie for the Trick or Treat Afters. But thoughts of making a pumpkin or sweet potato or apple or any other expected harvest pie, tired me. In addition to that particular sulking, I was upsetting over the fact that I did not yet have Halloween ringing in my heart, then right down to the tips of my striped~socked toes and back again. At this game’s stage, I would have been happy merely to hear it chiming in my ears!
Suddenly, my Great Uncle Ned appeared in the doorway. Wearng a crisp white laboratory jacket and an enormous “Nedward”~grin on his face (Nedward is my Fond Name for him!), he would announce: “Methinks I have the cure for your No ‘Boo!’ Boo Hoos!” As he plopped onto the kitchen table a bucketful of saved back from summertime cherries and two silver pitters not unlike Frankensteinian surgical instruments, he went on to say, “What is best needed here, is to do
As that proclamation’s loom did take over the room’s mood and mine, I exchanged my flowered apron for the pristine lab coat that my Great Uncle merrily was teasing my undernose with.
A Beyond Dark Johnny About to Cut Loose !
a bat indoors
can conjure up a fiercely swinging tennis racket
aimed in the direction of itself,
the kitchen was a red~splashed scene
straight out of the Victorian penny dreadful, The String of Pearls! Crimson cherry juice was not only here and there, but everywhere! And harmlessly macabre Neddy and I (the Sweeny Todds behind it all) were giddy for it!
Indeed and positively, on Samhain 1999, a miracle did happen: my curious Great Uncle Ned gave birth! To a new Halloween tradition, that is: The Spirit Night Pitting!
Which in turn---upon his kind and a hungry~tinged suggestion, as Nedward does wear a bottomless belly, when life is all about pies and tarts!---brought forth yet another annual practice:
Quick's a Cat
Can Wink Her Eye Tart!
It pleases me, it does,
to share with you this:
my once a yearly baked receipt!
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, but not together
2 tablespoon measures of cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole pitted Sour Cherries (when unpitted cherries, 2 pounds it will be)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon of mik, aboutish
For crust and topknot: Use the Do Ahead, chilling in the refrigerator ever since two days ago.
For filling and "bakes":
Position your range shelf to set in the lower third of a preheated to 425°F oven. Move quickly together and in a bowl a bit less than large 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Disturb the blend with the cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla; keep back.
From its fridge hold, kitchen counter the pie crust and a short while more make it wait.
On a flour~sprinkled work board, roll a Do Ahead dough puck into an 11-inch round whose thickness belongs to 1/8 measure; aside it. Spoonfeed the Sour Cherry filling to the pie~panned Do Ahead evenly. Make cut-up pieces of butter be dots on top. Blanket the patient uppercrust. With water, make damp the top and bottom crusts where they happen on, then under turn the top crust to be under the bottom crust: make edges flutey (I much raher the pinches as big as biggest.). Steam slits numbered five or six are next cut into the tightened dough lid. Like Fairy dust, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Place pie on a dribblecatch (baking sheet) and bake 15 minutes before making lower the oven temperature to 375°F. Until the filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, bake some more, with foil coverings edges if browning does not behave (about 1 hour longer). Rack cool completely. Wedge and serve with vanilla~laced ice cream.