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Tag Archives | Cherry

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam made with hand picked bright red cherries.

The Sauce: Cherry Jam – Fresh tart cherries, pitted, chopped, then thickened with pectin and cooked into sweetened jam.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Tart cherries

I keep coming back to my memory of the dried tart cherries I picked up at Wegman’s for Hamantaschen filling. I nibbled a few on my way to the parking lot. They are more tart than raisins or sultanas, more like dried cranberries but less bitter. Love them!

Last summer I bought fresh tart cherries at the Silver Spring Farmers Market and made Cherry Slab Pie. I loved the process of taking those tart cherries and turning them into pie filling, a dish to love.

This summer I went cherry picking with my friend Karen. The trees were laden with cherries, so many that
Cherry Jam Jarall we did was stand under the arched branches and pluck bright red round cherries off the branches. We filled several buckets and lugged them back to the barn to weigh in and purchase.

Unlike berries that only need mashing, I punched out the pit with a plastic drink stirrer. Then pulsed the cherries in a food processor a few times to break them into a coarse chop and they were ready for jammin’. Spooning bright red chunky jam over ice cream is a holiday dessert anytime you’re in the mood. Lots of cheer here.

You may also enjoy Corn Muffins, Braided Italian Bread, Wheatberry Blender Pancakes, Pomegranate Jelly, Persimmon Mango Jam, Baking Powder Biscuits, Maple Oatmeal Scones and Audrey’s Dinner Rolls.

4 of 4 part series Jammin’. Part 1 Blackberry Jam, part 2 Peach Jam and Part 3 Blueberry Jam. More about Jam and odd sized batches. Go to Ball and try their new Pectin Calculator.

2013 AniversaRecipe – Raspberry Loaf Cake
2012 AniversaRecipe – Chicken Thighs with Smoky Sweet Dry Rub
2011 AniversaRecipe – Zucchini Cheese Soup

Recipe: Cherry Jam

Active Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 3 Pints

4 cups chopped tart cherries, about 2 1/4-2 1/2 lbs
Cherries4 1/2 Tbsp dry fruit pectin
1/4 tsp butter
5 cups sugar

Special Equipment – cherry pitter or plastic stirring straw, large pot, food processor, wide mouth funnel, 3 pint jars with lids and rings

1 Wash jars, lids and rings in hot soapy water or dish washer, dry and set aside with funnel. Measure sugar into a bowl and set aside. Place 3 flat lids into a small pan and cover with water. Set on a back burner of the stove without heat.

2 Prepare fruit by pitting then placing cherries in a food processor and process to desired consistency or chopped with sharp knife.

3 Measure exactly 4 cups chopped cherries into a large pot. Add pectin and butter. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, around 5-8 minutes.

4 Add sugar all at once and stir constantly. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

5 Meanwhile turn the pan with lids on high heat and bring to boil.

6 Taking care to prevent touching the hot fruit mixture, place the funnel in one jar and scoop or pour the hot fruit into the jar filling to 1/2 inch from the rim. Wipe rim clean of any drips and place a hot lid on the top and screw ring tightly. Repeat with the other two jars. Allow to cool without touching the flat lid. The heat will seal the jar by suction and the lid will make a popping sound. Store in a cool dry place. Refrigerate once opened.

To pit cherries, use a cherry pitter or poke the pit out with a plastic stirring straw.

When mashing fruit, the more the chunks are broken down the smoother the jam will be.

To bring fruit to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, turn the heat on high and stir fruit mixture constantly. When it starts to boil continue to cook until the bubbles pop and boil even while stirring.

If there is any extra jam place it in a small bowl or container and store in the fridge after it cools.

-Spread on toast, muffins, bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,
-Drizzle over ice cream and pound cake.
-Spread on cooled brownies then frost and spread in a grilled cheese sandwich.
-Layer in parfaits and trifle.
-Swirl in pudding, oatmeal, grits, Cream of Wheat, yogurt.
-Fill a layer cake, cupcakes (cut out a round peg from the top, fill with jam replace the top then frost), Jam Thumbprints, crepes (raspberry jam and nutella or blackberry jam and ice cream), oatmeal bars, macarons.
-Bake into homemade pop tarts.
-Combine goat cheese and jam, place 1 small spoon on one end of phyllo dough strips, fold like a flag and bake until golden.
-Top on cheesecake, pancakes, waffles (combine 1 part jam and 2 parts maple syrup then warm).
-Glaze fruit pizza, fresh fruit tarts, chicken, pork and ham.
-Whirl in milkshakes and smoothies.
-Mix in lemonade for berry lemonade.
-For more sauces, add to BBQ sauce, flavor a vinaigrette (2 Tbsp jam, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 4 Tbsp oil).
-Combine with cream cheese to stuff french toast or for a flavored cream cheese spread for bagels.
-Stir into butter for flavored spread.
-Add to tea for flavored sweetener.
-Add to chicken or pork drippings with a little balsamic for a savory pan sauce.
-Heat to thin then pour over cream cheese and serve with crackers.
-Simmer 1 part grape jelly and 1 part chili sauce for lil’ smokies.

Dish Designer

  • No Substitutions.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Cherry Jam
Written by
Recipe Tester for The Washington Post
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: July 19, 2014

Continue Reading · 0

Jammin’ Series

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 


The temperatures were uncharacteristically cool July 4th for my berry picking outing in Poolesville, Maryland at Homestead Farm. I picked buckets of berries from low hanging branches and vines.

But the real story is my discovery of new packaging for powdered pectin. Traditionally it’s sold in powered pudding type boxes for a one size only recipe. The dilemma is what happens to the odd sized amount of fruit puree left over at the end, or the small batch from dead ripe berries, or fruit left from the Farmers Market that’s perfect for jam.

PectinBall has finally packaged pectin in containers with screw lids for flex batches. Genius!!! Now you can make the size batch you want without all the guess work for different batch variations. What’s more, their website has a Pectin Calculator with ‘point and click’ recipes for all kinds of fruit and berries. You pick the fruit, click on ‘jam or jelly’, and continue with the simple user-friendly step by step recipe builder. You’ll end up with a graphed group of quantities for every size batch. It’s about time.

Now you and I can make enough jam for breakfast this week, or line the shelves of our pantry. Jam has never been this easy. Knock out a few flavors. Check out the suggestions for using jam in cooking, baking and serving. Jam is more than a nice-to-have item stowed away for the winter.


BlackberriesWednesday, July 16, 2014 – Fresh Blackberry Jam made from fresh picked giant, juicy blackberries, thickened with pectin, sweetened and cooked to preserve.




PeachThursday, July 17, 2014Peach Jam made fresh picked peaches pared, diced and crushed, then thickened with pectin and cooked into sweetened jam.




BlueberriesFriday, July 18, 2014Blueberry Jam made fresh hand picked blueberries crushed, then thickened with pectin and cooked into sweetened jam.





CherriesSaturday, July 19, 2014Cherry Jam made fresh tart cherries, pitted, chopped, then then thickened with pectin and cooked into sweetened jam.
Cook with Sauces
Jammin’ Series
Written by
Recipe Tester for the Washington Post
Photographs and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: July 6, 2014

Continue Reading · 3

Cherry Slab Pie

Cherry Slab Pie is baked in a sheet pan. Fresh cherry pie is a cross between a regular pie and a hand pie.

The Sauce: Fresh Cherry Pie Filling – Pit your own cherries, add lemon juice, sugar, arrowroot and a pinch of salt and stir. The juices start to flow. Once baked, it thickens into transparent red cherry filling.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Giant pop tart

Combine the Silver Spring Farmers Market plus a perfect weather morning for a not-to-be-missed outing with Audrey. Let’s see, we bought fresh green beans, finger zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, crab cakes, Maryland crab dip, garlic scape pesto plus an artisan rosemary french bread and a whole-grain mini loaf. This makes me joyful.

Cherry Slab Pie SliceThe piece de resistance is a basket of fresh sour cherries. I asked the farmer how to pit them. He said, “I just grow and harvest the cherries. My family bakes them into pies. Customers tell me you poke the pit out with a straw so give it a try.” These cherries were headed for a slab pie so I decided to learn how to pit them. I have some plastic on-the-rocks stirring straws that should be small enough to drive through the cherries pushing out the pit without damaging the beautiful berries. Turns out straws work very well. In about 7 or 8 minutes I was able to pit 3 cups of cherries.

Cherry Slab Pie CornerThis slab pie, made popular by Martha Stewart, has been around a long time. Recently we had a guest for dinner when serving a mixed berry version. When I announced it was Berry Slab Pie, she said, “My mom’s been making this for years to feed a crowd but we never called it slab pie.”

What’s the genius of this pie? Like a giant pop tart, it’s a cross between a regular round pie and an individual hand pie. For those of us that love more crust to filling ratio than a pie but don’t have the time to make individual rolled pies, this is it!!

You might also enjoy Jumbleberry Pie, Cherry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream, Almond Cherry Pie, Deep Dish Apple Pie, Coconut Cream Pie and Banana Cream Pie.

4 of 4 part series ”Berry Season Desserts”. Part 1 Blueberry Cheesecake, Part 2 Raspberry Loaf Cake, and Part 3 Berries Van Gogh. Click here and here for more on berries.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Steamed Corn on the Cob
2011 AniversaRecipe – Cheddar Zucchini Bake and Risotto

Recipe: Cherry Slab Pie

Prep Time: 40 Min | Inactive Time: 45 Min | Cook Time: 50 Minutes | Yield: 12 Servings | Level: Moderate

Pie Pastry
Pitting Cherries

  • 4 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cold water

Fresh Cherry Pie Filling
Pitted Cherries

  • 4 cups fresh sour cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp cream
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar

Special Equipment – 9×12 baking sheet

Pie Pastry
1 Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening until a pea size crumble.

Pie Crust2 Whisk together 1 egg, vinegar and water beating until egg is just combined. Add to the flour mixture and combine but don’t over work. Divide the dough in about half, one slightly larger than the other, and form a rectangle with both. Wrap them in plastic and chill for 45-60 minutes.

Fresh Cherry Pie Filling
3 Meanwhile combine cherries, lemon juice, granulated sugar, arrowroot and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

4 Beat 1 egg with cream and set aside.

5 Place the bottom rack of the oven on the second lowest position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

6 Take the larger dough rectangle out of the fridge and roll out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until it is approximately 14 by 17 inches. It may have some ragged edges but there should be enough dough to piece together any open places. Pull off the top plastic wrap, flip over and roll the dough onto a rolling pin.
Roll dough on rolling pin





7 Unroll over the pan centering into place. Pull off the other plastic wrap.
Bottom Crust








8 Pour the cherry filling onto the crust and spread evenly.
Add cherry pie fillingSpread Cherries






9 Take the other dough rectangle out of the fridge and roll out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until it is approximately 10 by 13 inches. Using a dough scraper or knife, cut a 9×12 rectangle. Pull off the top plastic wrap, flip over and roll the dough onto a rolling pin. Unroll over the pan centering into place. Pull off the other plastic wrap.
Top Crust cut to sizeTop Crust placed






Fold Edge and Glaze10 Fold over the extra pie pastry of the bottom crust onto the top dough. Leave it ragged and rustic or trim to create a straight edge. The edge could also be finger-crimped or fork-tine pinched. Cut slits to vent the crust. Brush egg wash over the pie pastry. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

11 Bake at 375 degrees on the bottom rack of the oven placed in the second from the bottom position until golden brown, about 40-50 minutes. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes or more. Serve warm or room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.Cherry Slab Pie Cooling









Sliced slab pieShortening holds the structure of the pie pastry better than butter, especially when rolling the dough. Butter flavored shortening improves the taste of the pastry. It also melts at a higher temperature which changes the texture of the crust. The egg in the dough adds richness the shortening lacks. Cider vinegar increases flakiness.

Make the pie pastry the day before and chill over night.

Using plastic wrap on both the top and bottom of the pastry while rolling is essential. The sheer size of the crust means handling will be more difficult than a 9-inch round typically used for a pie. With the plastic, it doesn’t stick to the rolling surface, it is very easy to transport to the pan and can be easily pulled away as the dough is put in place.

Arrowroot is a thickening agent used in berry desserts because it cooks up more transparent than cornstarch. Cornstarch can be substituted one for one and is fairly transparent.

Placing the rack on the second from the bottom shelf helps to ensure the bottom crust gets browned.

Serve this slab pie at a picnic or family reunion.

Once completely cool it can be cut in squares and eaten like a hand pie.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange cider for white vinegar.
  • Exchange sour cherries for raspberries, blueberries or mixed berries.
  • Exchange arrowroot for cornstarch.
  • Exchange cream for milk.
  • Exchange turbinado for sanding sugar or granulated sugar.

Inspiration – Martha Stewart
Cook with Sauces
Cherry Slab Pie
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: July 24, 2013

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Almond Cherry Pie

Almond Cherry Pie with flaky pastry and almond garnish.

Cherry Blossom Festival dessert
The past couple of weeks it has been Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. The city is alive with beautiful blossoms. Spring is a beautiful time of year. Who can beat taking a stroll around the Tidal Basin on a perfect weather day. Stop for lunch under one of the over 3,000 cherry blossom trees gifted to the US from Japan in 1912. Next year will be the 100th anniversary, a ‘not to be missed’ event.

One of my favorite outings was a visit to the National Arboretum and viewing the Ikebana and Bonsai exhibits, a feast of colorful and elegant beauty. Enjoying the throngs on Pennsylvania Avenue for the National Japanese Street Festival was a riot. We visited the booths filled with all kinds of Japanese goods, ate grilled teriyaki kabobs and watchedBonsai-Almond-Cherry-Pie the Japanese drummers perform their rhythmically choreographed thunderous songs. Music and motion magic!

Ikebana-Cherry-Blossom-FestivalHaving lived in Japan for over 5 years, it holds a special place in my heart. Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan begins in the southern part of the country and like a wave, rolls northward as the weather warms for a perpetual spring of blossoming trees. So here is my offering in honor of the season, a pie with the delicate flavor combination of cherry and almond. It is the perfect yin yang with the smooth pie filling and the

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crunchy almond topping and the sweet and tart, but don’t stop there, warm it and serve with some cold ice cream for yet another layer of contrast. Yum!

Recipe: Almond Cherry Pie

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Yield: 6-8 servings | Level: Easy


  • 2 pie crusts
  • 2 cans cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp milkAlmond-Cherry-Pie
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • ice cream or whipped cream

Special Equipment – 9 or 9 ½-inch pie plate

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 Roll out 1 pie crust and lay into a 9 or 9 1/2 inch pie plate. Set aside.

3 Combine the pie filling, almond and vanilla extracts in a medium bowl. Scoop onto the pastry and smooth evenly.

4 Roll out the second pie crust and lay across the cherry filling mixture. Trim and crimp. Cut several slits in the crust for air to escape. Or, cut the dough into small circles or small blossoms and arrange in an overlapping pattern.

5 In a small sauce pan combine the milk, sugar, and almonds and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes to thicken. Slightly cool to the touch and crumble over pie crust.

6 Bake in 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. Cover the pie loosely with foil for the first 15 minutes to prevent over toasting of the almonds and crust.

7 Cool for 1-2 hours. Serve with whipped or ice cream.

Pie Crust – Click here for a terrific pie crust recipe or use a ready-made crust.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange the almond crunch topping for a brush of egg wash and sprinkle of sugar.
  • Exchange the slivered for sliced almonds.

Inspiration – Food Network Pie Contest Winner Lola Nebel
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 12, 2012

Continue Reading · 6

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