Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day Dresden Plates

Happy Independence Day!
Here are a few dresden plates I've made for American Hero Quilts. (Surprisingly easy to make!)
We're making red, white, and blue blocks every month and we'll have a sew day to put the quilts together sometime in the fall or winter. 

Our quilt group continues to support the efforts of American Hero Quilts to give quilts to injured service men and women. I look forward to the day when we won't need to make any more. Yes, that is my hope.

Make it a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oh My Cherry Pie

(We couldn't wait for the pie to cool!)

Fresh cherry pie is right up there at the top of my favorites list. Along with most fresh fruit pies. Especially blueberry. Or deep dish, single crust peach. Ah, summer fruit.

We picked cherries from a very old, very tall tree... which meant we wished we had taller ladders. We cleaned out the lowest branches but I'm sure the birds are happy that most of the fruit was way out of our reach.

Fresh sour cherries are best used very soon after picking. I made a pie and used the rest in a chocolate cherry smoothie the next morning. You can freeze the fruit too, if you pick enough to have any leftover. Wash, pit, bag, and label in freezer containers.

Dave and I worked together on the picking and the pitting. (He used our pitter, pitting 4 at a time. I used a knife one at a time, which was almost as quick.) Time consuming, but worth the work!

Here's a classic cherry pie recipe. Nothing tricky. Adjust the sugar depending how tart the cherries are and your own taste. Enjoy!

Oh My Cherry Pie 
6 Cups washed, pitted tart cherries
1 1/4 Cups white sugar
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
Pie Crust:
2 2/3 Cup sifted flour
1/2 Cup shortening
1/2 Cup butter
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Sugar
5-7 Tbs. cold water

Sift flour into bowl. Add salt and sugar. Mix with fork. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in butter, leaving butter in pea-sized bits. Sprinkle with water, one tablespoon at a time. Gather dough into ball. Divide dough in half. 

Roll one ball of dough on a generously floured pastry cloth. Line pie dish with rolled crust. Set aside.

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. In saucepan, cook cherries over medium heat for several minutes to release juice. Add the sugar mixture to the hot cherries and mix well. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring gently and constantly. Remove from heat and cool. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Fill prepared pie crust with cooled cherry filling. Roll top crust. Cover fruit filling with top crust. Seal and flute edge. Lightly brush top with melted butter or lightly mist with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sugar. 

Slit or prick top crust to vent.

Cover edge with foil or pie crust shield ring. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove ring and cook another 25 minutes  or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. 

Cool and serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream.