Ronnie’s cherry pies are acting out; they refuse to set up and insist on being a bit “runny.” Because fruit differs in water content, this is a common problem, Ronnie, and we sympathize with you. Below is the recommended pie filling for a traditional Door County Cherry Pie [made with Montmorency cherries, the pie cherry, of course.]
4 cups pitted, fresh or frozen tart cherries
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
To make filling, combine cherries and almond extract in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Gently toss sugar mixture into cherries to combine. Pour filling in prepared pastry crust and cover with top crust. Pinch edges and seal; trim excess dough. Cut several slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
*If using frozen cherries, drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the juice. Combine cherries and reserved juice.
You know, Ronnie. It occurred to me that maybe it is your cooking time [?] That is another cause of runny filling. The pie isn’t done until the juice is bubbling out of the top crust. We sometimes take a pie out too soon because the top crust is getting too brown. To keep the crust from over-browning but still cook the filling long enough, I cover my pies with aluminum foil for at least the last 10 minutes of baking.
Here is the Door County Coffee Cake recipe you also requested. We are returning to the Door the end of August, and I can’t wait. Oh how I love to eat breakfast at the charming White Gull Inn in Fish Creek, waking up with a hot cup of coffee and a large square of their warm, fruity coffee cake in front of me. Ah, bliss…
Cherry Coffee Cake
Yield: 12 servings
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*2 cups pitted, frozen tart cherries, thawed and drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
To make topping, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts in a small bowl; set aside.
Stir together sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder. In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs to creamed mixture, one at a time. Stir in vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add sour cream and flour mixtures alternately to creamed mixture; blend thoroughly.
Spread one half of batter in prepared pan and cover with cherries. Sprinkle one-third of reserved topping over cherries. Spread remaining half of batter on top and sprinkle remaining two-thirds topping evenly over cake. Bake 60-75 minutes. Cover with foil after 30 minutes if cake is browning too quickly. Test for doneness by inserting knife in center. Serve warm.
*Use frozen cherries in this recipe rather than fresh. The freezing causes them to soften, making them more adaptable for the recipe. Fresh, softer berries such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries may also be substituted for the frozen cherries in this recipe. Apples should be poached or sauted’ in butter and drained for an Apple Coffee Cake; use tart apple slices such as Jonathan or Granny Smith. Layer them with the reserved topping as for the berries and cherries. Delicious!
If you have hints or suggestions for Ronnie, comment below.