The perfect cherry is rounded with a slight heart shape and dimple at its stem end. The size can range from one to three centimeters in diameter. The skin is thin and taut with deep red coloring and a brilliant sheen. The inner flesh's color palette is a range of rouge tones. The firm yet juicy pulp surrounds a single stone which may cling tightly or easily pull away depending upon variety. The cherry's flavor is bright and pleasantly sweet-tart, mimicking notes of currant, plum, raspberry, and blackberry.
Cherries are incredibly versatile, extending uses into sweet and savory recipes, raw or cooked preparations, and may be found fresh, dried, frozen, preserved, or even pickled. Their inherent sweetness pairs well with strong game meats, most notable waterfowl such as duck. It also balances well against salty and creamy cheeses such as burrata, feta, mascarpone, and brie. They cook down into silky jams, jellies, pie fillings, dessert toppings, and even chutney or barbecue sauce Cherries also pair well with other stone fruit, basil, hazelnut oil, pine nuts, fennel, pistachios, arugula, yogurt, cream, dark chocolate and berries such as blueberry and blackberry.
To store them put them in the refrigerator
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup shortening
6 to 10 tablespoons ice water
5 cups fresh cherries, pitted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon sugar
- In a large bowl, mix flour and salt; cut in butter and shortening until crumbly. Gradually add ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Divide the dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375. Place cherries in a large bowl; drizzle with lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over cherries and toss gently to coat.
- Roll one dough and transfer to a pie plate on a lightly floured surface. Trim crust even with rim. Add filling.
- Roll remaining dough and place top crust overfilling. Trim, seal, and flute edge. If desired, decorate the top with cutouts.
- Bake for 40 minutes. For the topping, brush the top of the pie with milk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 15-20 minutes longer. Let it cool, and then serve.