A friend of mine emailed and said he had gone cherry picking – well my interest was peaked! Being new to the area – I am having to learn all the places to pick fruits. I was given the name of the farm and immediately went to the internet and did a search. It is a third generation farm, Levering Orchard. I mentioned to one of my aunts that we were going to go cherry picking and she of course knew of the orchard and had gone picking there. One of the best parts of going cherry picking was that we were able to take the Blue Ridge Parkway almost the whole way! There are some beautiful and wonderful highways that I have traveled, Hwy 1 in California, Route 69, the Taconic Parkway in New York and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Once we turned off the Parkway, we headed down a very windy and steep road – then the turn off to the orchard – wow. The orchard is up or down, depending on how you see a hillside. We were given our buckets, parked and headed to the trees. Most of the trees had been well picked on the bottom and ladders were place at each tree. I am afraid of heights and for the most part you had to go all the way to the top of the ladders – so grateful that Stella is not afraid of heights, since she did most of the climbing and picking! This was a definite change from last years picking – where I did most of the picking. When were done we had picked a little over 7 pounds.
When we got home Stella washed and de-stoned all the cherries!! Lucky me. Once Stella got the hang of the de-stoner, she had a lot of fun. We froze some, left some for eating and then made a wonderful cherry cobbler crisp. I have never made a cherry cobble and all the recipes started with cherry pie filling – so the first thing I did was make cherry pie filling from our freshly picked cherries.
Cherry Cobbler Crisp
2 1/2 cups cherries
2 Tbl lemon juice (I was out,but had lemon aide in the fridge – so that was used)
1/3 cup arrowroot or corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
3/4 cups oats
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Lightly grease a 8×8 inch baking dish.
2. In a medium sauce pan add 2 cups of cherries, lemon juice, arrowroot an sugar. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally in the beginning – as it thickens stir constantly.
3. When it thickens to cherry pie filling thickness pour into the greased baking dish.
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
6. In a medium sized glass bowl add the brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and almond meal – stir to mix.
7. Cut the butter into pats and add to the dry mixture. Either using a pastry blender or your hands (my preference) blend the butter in until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
8. Sprinkle the topping over the cherry mixture in the baking dish.
9. Bake for about 30 minutes, the top will brown and look crispy.
Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream or plain. This was so delicious and will be a staple during cherry season!!!