Day 1 of our vacation in Hope, NJ started out with a bang: I spotted something unusual from the corner of my eye moving quickly through the brush. Suddenly it came out into the open and what I then perceived it to be was a huge bear walking around the garden. I calmly called 911 and was transferred to the local police who politely informed me that they “don’t do anything about bears.” They went on to assure me that if I don’t bother it, it won’t bother me (they didn’t realize that trampling the patience was indeed bothering me). Then Elliott pointed out that it was a baby bear and that it was now by the porch door. I went over to investigate and found that it was indeed a very sweet looking little bear, just a little larger than a large dog. It looked so friendly I started thinking “pet” but decided this would surely be a huge mistake.
The only project I had planned for today was to pit the sour cherries I purchased yesterday at the Union Square farmer’s market because even with the stem still on they do deteriorate very quickly. But since I’m really really in need of a little break from my usual activities such as baking and blogging (I’m making an exception since the season is short and I want to share this exceptional discovery, I compromised by deciding to take my husband’s advice and cook the cherries as a pie filling without a crust to serve over ice cream (hence it’s name).
We just got back from shopping for staples, one of which was ice cream to go with the cherries (yes I had to really speak sternly to myself to keep from whipping some up since I have all the necessary ingredients on hand. What really won me over to store bought was the fact that my several ice cream makers all need to have the containers chilled in the freezer for about 24 hours and I wasn’t willing to wait. So we bought Edy’s “light, slow churned caramel delight,“ and Haagendazs’s vanilla bean, which my friend Marko rightly had just highly recommended . Both are excellent, of course the vanilla bean better with the cherries but we wanted to try the Edy’s we’d been hearing so much about. It is truly creamy and fantastic—bravo Edy’s for putting there knowledge of science before profit. I’ll be in the long run their profit will increase!
So here’s how you make cherry pie filling without the crust and on top of the stove:
Use my recipe one posting down for the cherry pie (filling) but decrease the cornstarch to 1 tablespoon. (If your too lazy to look, it’s 20 ounces (3 1/2 cups) pitted cherries: 6 ounces (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract. Let the pitted cherries sit with the sugar and cornstarch for a minimum of 15 minutes (up to about 2 hours), until the sugar mixture is moistened and a syrup starts to form.
Bring the cherry mixture to a boil on medium-low heat, stirring constantly but gently so as not to break up the cherries. Raise the heat to medium-high and boil for about 10 minutes or until the liquid and cherries are bright red and the juices thickened but still possible to pour off the spoon.
Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the almond extract (it makes the cherries taste cherrier). Allow the mixture to cool a little or use it at room temperature to spoon atop your favorite ice cream. Bliss!
By the way, don’t hold me to my word about not blogging any more during vacation—there are a few postings and a few responses to questions I intend to do, but do try to hold off with any more questions til july 12! Meantime I’ll need most of my will-power to keep from eating all of that fabulous pice cream in one sitting!