The color! The tartness! The excitement!
I have now lived in six different states and two countries. And for the first time my crazy life has led me somewhere that has sour cherries sold by the bucketful at roadside farm stands.
Growing up in Colorado, it is nearly impossible to find fresh sour cherries for sale. The closest we ever got to sour cherry pie was when Costco would whip them up on a random day of the year. And even then, the odds had to be in your favor that you decided you needed bulk toilet paper that day and then you walked out of the store with a heavenly, tart, cherry pie.
Moving to central Ohio these last three months has been hard. There are a lot of things I am having an unseemly time adjusting to. But it is easy to fall in love with the rolling green hills and farmhouses clouded by fog. It is even easier to fall in love with the countless farmers markets and farm stands offering you all the fruits and vegetables, honey and eggs, meats and bread you can want.
So it was, and I say this with utter seriousness and lack of hyperbole, the best day in Ohio so far when the farm stand by our temporary housing had a sign advertising fresh sour cherries.
I mean, who wouldn’t think that was the best sign they had ever read? My boyfriend failed to see the excitement and was skeptical if one single person ever needed ten pounds of cherries.
But my mom. My mom all the way in Colorado where the air is dry and the sky is big and blue and my childhood home waits for me. My mom understood.
I called her immediately and her excitement on the other end of the phone justified my own. We talked of sour cherry pie, galettes, jams and jellies.
Pre-ordered. Bought and paid for. The waiting began. Waiting for my phone to ring from an unknown Ohio number to tell me, “Ms. Padilla, the cherries you ordered are ready to be picked up.”
Ten pounds of cherries seems like a lot. But by the time I had weighed and frozen some (they are going home with me to Colorado for Thanksgiving pies) I was kicking myself I did not order the 25-pound option. Next year.
Finally excited about something, I made this Sour Cherry Galette. Sour, sweet, bright and simple.
The tartness of the cherries and their almost paint-chip color, the flakiness of the dough sitting like a crown around the fruit, begs for the shocking contrast of scoop of vanilla ice cream.
If you do not agree then we can not be friends.
But seriously if you do not add ice cream to this then you are missing out on the 8th wonder of the world- the moment that flavors and ingredients can come together and literally change how you look at the day and the world around you.
Make this and have a better day than the one you woke up to.
Sour Cherry Galette
Sour cherries are a fleeting fruit! If you didn’t buy any this summer, can not access them or want to make this in December, a good option is jarred Morello cherries. Adjust the sugar in the recipe for the sweetness of the jarred cherries.
Makes one galette.
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
For brushing: lightly beaten egg + few drops of water
Sugar for sprinkling, granulated or raw
Sour Cherry Filling
2 lbs. sour cherries, pitted
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few pads of butter
- Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and pulse until pecan-size lumps remain with food processor. If using your hands, rub the cold butter and flour mixture together to achieve the same. Whisk egg, milk and vinegar together in a small bowl. Add to flour and butter mixture. If using food processor, pulse until dough just comes together. If using your hands, continue to rub ingredient between your fingers until dough just comes together. Turn dough out on to counter and mold into a disk shape.
- Wrap disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place cherries in bowl. Add sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla. Gently mix or toss to completely cover cherries.
- Remove crust from refrigerator. Roll out crust into a relative circle- remember a galette is rustic- until 1/4 inch thick. Place the dough on a parchment- lined baking sheet. Place cherries in center and leave around a two inch border of crust. Add dabs of butter on top of cherries.
- Take edge of crust and fold over the cherries. The cherries will be visible in the middle of the galette as the crust is not meant to fully cover them.
- Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle the sugar generously on the crust.
- Bake on center rack of the oven until the crust is golden brown, about 35-40 min. Leakage is common and never a bad thing! Always remember to gauge your baking time based on your oven temperature. Golden brown and delicious is always the best sign for a done crust.
- Remove and let cool slightly. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!