Table of Contents: PIES


This recipe can be made using either fresh dark cherries or canned water-packed cherries, your choice.  Both are perfectly delicious and, quite honestly, taste almost the same.


To Make with Fresh Cherries:

16 oz. un-pitted cherries plus 4 more cherries

a. if using fresh cherries; remove the stems, wash, and remove pits with a cherry pitter, or

b. if no cherry pitter is available, put the un-pitted cherries into a saucepan and add ½ cup water.  Bring water to a full boil; then cover and simmer only until the cherries are barely soft.   Pierce each un-pitted cherry with a fork or knife.   Using clean hands, press the pits from the cherries and discard pits.  Reserve the cherry juice.


To Make with Canned, Pitted, Water-Packed Cherries:

1 (16-oz.) can water-packed pie cherries, reserve the juice from the can (do not buy cherry pie filling by mistake!)


Filling Recipe:

¾ cup granulated sugar

2-½ T. cornstarch (3 T. may be needed to thicken the fresh cherries)

1/8 tsp. salt

Reserved juice from fresh or canned cherries

1 T. butter or margarine

Fresh pitted or canned cherries

1 unbaked 9-inch piecrust, pierce bottom and sides of the piecrust with a fork before adding the filling


Crumb Topping:

1-cup plain flour

½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened









Pre-heat oven and a flat, metal baking pan to 375 degrees.


To Make Filling:

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt; mix well to break-up any lumps.  Gradually stir in the cherry juice from the fresh cherries or the juice from the canned cherries keeping the mixture smooth.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is somewhat thickened.  (If extra thickening is needed for the fresh cherries, place the additional ½ T. cornstarch into a very small bowl and gradually stir in a little of the cherry filling mixture; then add the diluted cornstarch to the filling.   Continue to cook and stir until thickened.)


Add the butter, and stir until blended; then add the cherries and stir.  Pour the pie filling into the unbaked piecrust.


To Make Crumb Topping:

In a food processor, blender, or electric mixer, combine the crumb topping ingredients and process into fine crumbs.  Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the entire top of the filling in the piecrust.  Bake on the pre-heated pan in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes.  The crumb topping and the piecrust should be golden brown.   Serves 8.


Joe’s photos of dawn on the Danube River in Austria are a couple of my favorites from our trip there.  I particularly like the one with the river cruise boat headed downstream towards Artstetten, Austria.  Later in the day, we were fortunate enough to attend Mass being celebrated in this magnificent double-spired church on the hill overlooking the Danube.



The evening before, we had dined on the river-terrace of the restaurant that adjoined our lodging, watching the long boats as they silently glided along to their next port of call.


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