Mulberry Cherry and Rye Pietini and Pie
Its almost July and the mulberries and cherries are ripening up fast. Birds aren’t interested in the cherries at least, and we’re the only primates in town. So grab some friends and go pick some now before they rot on the trees. They’re great to eat alone, better in pie, and best as a cocktail. If you like to have your pie and drink it too, here’s what to do:
Gather a bunch of each. If your neighborhood tree is picked over, you might have to climb. Our Jenifer St tree has been well picked, but there were still plenty in the canopy this morning. You’ll probably want about a gallon or so total. We did half and half cherry to mulberry – the mulberry sweetness nicely balanced the cherry tart. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple kinds of cherries, you can balance sweet and tart variaties.
Pit the cherries. This is the most time-consuming part. And remember, the more you eat while pitting, the longer it takes. Pitting is best accompanied with a strong ale to keep your palate occupied. Once you’re half way through pitting, throw the pitted cherries and half the mulberries in a pot. Add a dash of cinnamon, a half a cup to cup of sugar or honey, and enough whiskey or port to cover fruit. We used Buleitt Rye, a great whiskey for $20. Simmer for 30 minutes or so. Meanwhile, finish pitting and make a pie crust.
When the fruit concoction is a bit reduced, pour three quarters of the remaining liquid into a mason jar, and place in refrigerator or freezer to cool. Take the hot fruity mash and mix in with the rest of the fresh cherries and mulberries. Pour mixture into bottom crust and prepare top crust by rolling out into circle and cutting lattice strips.
For maximum satisfaction, hand weave lattice. Bake at 420 for a half hour, reducing to 375 as the top of crust browns, for another half hour. By the time the pie is finished, your drink mix should be appropriately cooled. Remove from fridge and poor into your favorite cocktail glass with a shot of vodka, rum, or whiskey, and a few ice cubes if you prefer. Enjoy your pie and pietini with friends.