Thanksgiving is coming up this week and I know a lot of you are particularly attached to cherry pie. Lots of Americans could not imagine a Thanksgiving table without it. Many of us make our mom’s or grandma’s or great-grandma’s special recipe and it might be the only time we make it all year. Regular readers of this blog are well aware that the tart cherry industry was hit hard by a weird weather pattern last spring/summer and the crop in the Midwest and Northeast was all but destroyed. That has resulted in VERY high prices on our Oregon canned Red Tarts this year. There is no sugar coating it, they are expensive and it may not be possible for some families to make their favorite pie this year due to the cost. So I came up with an alternative that I think might make some folks happy. I baked up some individual Cherry Hand Pies and it made 8 servings with just one can! A good cherry pie takes 2-3 cans so this will help your holiday budget and they are quick and delicious as well.
To extend the “cherriness” of the day, I also made a great appetizer with our Royal Anne Cherries. This cherry is known as a “light sweet cherry” and grows mainly in the Northwest. Thankfully the Northwest was not hit with the same weather so the price of this cherry is a lot lower. And this Royal Anne Cherry with Goat Cheese Crostini is SO DELICIOUS!!! If you are bringing a holiday appetizer to a gathering I guarantee this one will be a hit.
Just a quick story for you.
I saw a blog recently that touted the ease of making your own goat cheese ricotta at home in just an hour. It sounded like fun to me (I hear you, I have a weird idea of fun) so I set out to make up a scratch version to use with my recipe. I bought a quart of goat’s milk at the grocery store, I had a lot lemons I bought at the farmer’s market last week and the last ingredient was salt so I was good to go. I followed the directions exactly but it sure didn’t look right. It was supposed to separate the curds and whey even before the 1 hour resting time. That did not happen. I jumped on the internet and found out that this may not work with ultra pasteurized goat’s milk. After visiting 4 grocery stores it became clear that was the only type available in the conventional grocery stores in my area. I drove across town to a natural foods coop so determined was I to make my own goat cheese. I found a quart that was not ultra pasteurized and I headed home to try again. By now I was into this recipe for almost $10. You can probably guess that I achieved the same result. I was now $10 poorer, and I had spent most of a day. I ran down to Safeway and picked up 8oz of good goat cheese for $5.99, whipped it up in the food processor and it was darn delicious. I give you this little parable so that you can save yourself the hassle and money and make a fantastic appetizer that your friends and family will love. It will take you all of about 15 minutes. Your welcome.