Recipe Post! Fresh Cherry Pie Filling

cherries

One of my absolute favourite times of the year is harvest season for fresh Ontario Cherries! Ranier cherries are delicious, and so are most other US-bred cherries, but there’s just something to be said for those sweet, deep-purple fleshed Ontario sweet cherries that makes my tastebuds weep with joy!

…too florid? My apologies. I just love fresh cherries *that* much.

imitation cherry extractSo much, in fact, that the taste of artificial cherries is absolutely disgusting to me. Who in their right mind, who has ever tasted the awesome power of a fresh cherry, would ever be satisfied with this pale, chemical-tasting, artificial cherry flavour?

maraschino-cherriesNot to mention the yuk-factor of the Maraschino cherry, or the scary, scary metamorphosis of the humble cherry into the gustatory horror that is the glaceed (candied) cherrycandied cherries red and green.

I wrote a post a few years ago, on another blog that is sadly now defunct, on the evils of the artificial Maraschino and glace cherry. While I will not go into exhaustive recount of that well-researched blog post, I will include the link here to Wikipedia’s page on Maraschino cherries, and point out the last sentence on the page, where Wikipedia reports the well-publicized ban on certain Red and Yellow food dyes that were proven to increase the likelihood of cancer:

“The ban on Red Number 4 was lifted in 1965 to allow the coloring of maraschino cherries, which are considered mainly decorative and not a foodstuff.” (emphasis mine)

So, why oh why do people continue to eat these things, when the FDA doesn’t even consider them food?

Harumph.

Ok, I am off my soapbox and will get on to the purpose of this post: Fresh Cherry Filling!

I’m making this delicious delight, not for a pie, as one might imagine, but as the filling for something even better; a nice big Black Forest Cake, which I will be baking and assembling for a family party this weekend!. While I have not yet made the cherry filling or the cake yet, I do intend on posting pictures of the process post-weekend so that all may enjoy and maybe attempt one themselves!

Here’s the recipe I will be using this evening, after I spent over an hour hand-pitting 3 lbs of cherries:

2014-07-27 18.46.48Fresh Cherry Filling

This is a great way to use fresh cherries.

  • 5 to 6 cups fresh pitted cherries (about 2 ½-3lbs.)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1¼ cup white sugar
  • 4 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. almond extract (optional)

Mix cornstarch and cold water together in a measuring cup until cornstarch dissolves.

Add all ingredients to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to combine.

Bring mixture to a boil; immediately reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Cool slightly before using.

 

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