This post should probably actually be called- Michigan Sour Cherry Pie: In which Sarah invents a new form of Gastro-tourism.
I call it, Gastridiculousness.
Let me begin the tale…
I was on a rampage to acquire sour cherries while in Michigan. And, lo! acquire said cherries, I did.
But not without significant challenges that weaker human may have interpreted as barriers.. which included, driving 1 hour to a literal cherry farm, being told that the farm doesn’t actually sell pre-picked sour cherries and we would need to PICK our own… [Interlude where everyone visualizes the awkwardness that is Dave and I, hanging out on a farm, picking cherries]… and then not having time to create aforementioned pie in Michigan because we need to catch a flight home, thus putting all trust and hope in TSA agents to not confiscate or crush my cherries, and journeying back to California with Michigan cherries in tow.
I refused to be deterred!
It was a (surprisingly) successful endeavor, and one in which I realized that I am actually an insane person and Dave is the most patient of enablers.
Fortunately we made it back to California without any cherry stains on my luggage, which is always a cause for celebration.
So let’s make a pie about it, shall we?One of my problems (or cute quirks, depending on your perspective) when I cook is that I have severe difficulties following a recipe. Don’t get me wrong, I love recipes, love to look at them, read them, and analyze them. But when I start cooking, all bets are off and I will guarantee you that I will somehow tweak that thing until it becomes “my” recipe. ALL MINE!
With that being said I hope this next statement is made all the more profound: this recipe is entirely unadulterated by me.
That’s because it is so so SO good. I pilfered this recipe from Epicurious.com, always a trusted resource, though it was originally published in the Bon Appetit 2008 magazine. And people, trust me, you will never need another cherry pie recipe again.The all-butter crust is phenomenal, and so crisp, yet tender.. sweet, yet salty. And all loaded up with the most amazing sour cherry filling your mouth ever did taste.
Yes, surprisingly, despite the purple-ish-ness of the photos, these cherries were actually sour cherries. They just “ripened” a bit in the cross-contintental transport process. I guess that’s why no stores sell them, because they will literally go bad in less than 1 week.
Fortunately the flavor was phenomenal and perfectly tart despite the rough handling.So if you’re ever game for an adventure and in Northern Michigan in July… check out Rennie Orchards. They sell the cherries featured in this post. And despite my hesitations about picking your own cherries, it was surprisingly easy and actually really fun!
But for best results: Make/ eat your pie in the place the produce was grown.
Michigan Cherry Pie
You always find a way to realize your dreams! Cherry pie made from the best cherries in the world! Looks delicious!
It was definitely worth the effort and all the time spent pitting the cherries 🙂
What a gorgeous pie! So homey and comforting.
Ahh!! Thank you so much 🙂
So you’re basically telling me to fly to Michigan RIGHT NOW and pick some sour cherries. Well, if you insist. 😛
Unequivocally yes. (you know, if it’s not too much trouble… 😉 )
This pie crust looks PERFECT – so golden and flaky! I have never used sour cherries as they aren’t as available in NZ, but I will have to hunt some down and give this a go! Can you buy them frozen at all?
I think you should be able to buy them frozen… I haven’t personally, but I have seen this cited on the internet as a definite possibility. Alternatively if you click-through to the epicurious link they have a suggestion for making the pie with regular cherries and adding extra lemon juice to bring out the tartness. Hope this helps!
Oh my goodness this pie is so beautiful. Did you get that kettle going yet? LOL Michigan cherries rock!!! I am so glad you went home for the Michigan difference/experience and so glad those TSA officers did not give you any grief. Custom agents are probably taught in their training not to mess with food bloggers trying to smuggle in their food, spices and loot back home. LOL. Sharing and pinning everywhere , of course!
Bobbi you are SO sweet 🙂 I’m glad we are Michigan kindred-spirits! (and LOL “The Michigan Difference” is definitely a University of Michigan catch-phrase.. love it!) #puremichigan
I’ve learned from watching those Boarder crossing/ custom agent programs and personal experience that declaring your food items instead of trying to conceal them is the most successful way to keep your goodies. The customs forms everyone fills out states that if you’re not sure if anything you’re carrying is allowed you need to declare it. Not declaring items raises a red flag and looks like you’re trying to conceal something. When this occurs the agent must follow protocol by the book with no deviation. You might even be fined. The customs dog officers are trained to search out food items, not just narcotics and explosives. If the dogs alert to your luggage, not declaring can also result in you being detained and thoroughly searched and being fined the maximum amount. Once when I was coming back from France, I wasn’t even checked. A huge thunderstorm from Nova Scotia all the way down to Miami caused complete chaos. Customs let everyone who had declared their foodstuff and souvenirs through without searching or paying tax–saving me a couple hundred dollars.
As for domestic travel with food items, I haven’t had any problems. Although many TSA agents have jokingly asked for dinner invitations… I frequently brought Eastern NC barbecue and NC shrimp in both my carry on and checked bags. (the BBQ restaurant would give me their freshest pulled pork that hadn’t been reheated, which I portioned into gallon size ziplock freezer bags and frozen as flat as possible. The shrimp would be purchased from a road side stand (shrimp was trucked in straight from the trawler that morning) on my way to the airport. I had put in my order the day before. The frozen BBQ helped keep the shrimp cold. I packed it all in a soft sided cooler bag with ice double bagged in ziplock bags when I traveled with only a few pounds of shrimp and BBQ. I only checked my BBQ and seafood in a larger cooler contained in an old suitcase when I planned a large shrimp boil or knew I wasn’t going back to NC shortly.
Shut the front door! Your pie is stunning. Living in Florida the idea of having access to a
cherry farm sounds divine.
I have a lot of trouble following a recipe too. I often use the recipe as a foundation and not much else (laugh).
This is my first time to your blog. I enjoyed it!
Thank you so much for stopping by Velva! I have family in Florida who were soooo excited to come back to Michigan for the summer weather and also for the cherries!! Hope to see you around the blog again soon!
I have been looking through your blog and I love your photos, each and every one of them. They are so alive, I could easily take a bite but I guess that would not be satisfying.
Aww, thank you so much Chaya!
I’m searching for the BEST cherry recipe out there…and like you, I modify and re-modify recipes to put a little “Honey” in it. I’m readying “American Pie” by Pascale Le Draoulec who traveled across this wonderful nation for a slice of pie. She speaks about Michigan on their wonderful cherries, good to hear that someone else took the same journey.
Thanks for openly sharing. As they say “Everything you can imagine is real” 🙂
Thanks for the recipe. Hope you enjoyed your visit to Michigan. Your blog was linked on Marketplace Weekend.
I’m lucky enough to live in Michigan and will be heading for Elk Rapids soon and will repeat your experiment. Rennie Orchards, here I come!