Boozy cherry pie

by Kate Djupe

Preserving is easy. There are so many lists available of the essential equipment, the food safety rules you will want to follow, recipes and processing times to get you started.

The two things that get lost in all of that valuable information are these:

  1. Label everything. At the very least, write down what is in the jar and the year you put it up.
  2. Write down recipes or bookmark links to recipes or keep some sort of notes on method and ingredients.

This is my problem. My husband and I (and any friends that want to join the fun) start most of our canning and freezing adventures after the kids go to bed. Around 3am, I am not thinking of labels and recipes. During the night, we are moving things into the freezer or the canner as there is room. During the day, we are shuffling cooled jars out of the reach of curious hands. That means we are moving dozens of sealed jars around in an unsystematic, hurried fashion. Fast forward a few months and we are opening mystery jars. Fast forward a year and we have all of these fresh fruits and no more jars of that very delicious __ that I put up and very little recollection of how the magic happened.

This year, I will be better. And by better, I mean more efficient.

My plan: take photos and make shorthand notes throughout the cooking process. Write a blog post with all of my secrets so that they are no longer kept secret from my future self. And now you.

A big difference between these preserving posts and my normal posts is that I haven't made each of these things dozens of times before I share them. However, I will be updating the posts throughout the year (as I break into my stash) with notes for the next preserving season. 

Boozy cherry pie! (a future Twixlen empire product, I am sure)

6 cups of cherries, pitted (2011's bounty included 4 kinds of cherries)

1.25 cups sugar (Next time, try 1 cup demerara sugar)

2 Tbsp Bulleit bourbon

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp tapioca (instant tapioca or tapioca pearls ground in a coffee grinder until it is a powder)

Pinch of Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

Mix everything. Let the pie filling stand for 20 minutes so that the tapioca can begin to dissolve in the fruit.

If this is headed to the freezer, pour into sterilized jars leaving 1" of headspace. Clean the rim of each jar before screwing your lid/ring on. Label. Freeze. Completely defrost before using for pie, crumble, etc.

If this is headed to the oven, pour filling into a raw pie crust. Place pats of butter around the top of the pie. Top with another layer of pie crust. Cut vents. Place your pie dish on a sheet tray at bake at 400° for 20 minutes; reduce temperature to 350° and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. Eat.

And if you wanted to eat these cherries straight out of the bowl in all of their booziness, can I suggest washing them down with a little of Boylan's black cherry soda?