Lemonade Wisconsin-style by way of cherry pie

 

 

I kept the juice from the cherries I bought to supplement the cherries given to me by a neighbor from her tree.  I should’ve made a straight-up cherry pie which is what I was craving, but the husband doesn’t like cherry pie, so I looked for a compromise.

There in my Pie:300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie book was a recipe for Dense Cherry-Almond Coffeecake Pie.  I figured I like coffee cake.  He likes coffee cake and the cherries would be so dispersed throughout that he could easily avoid them.  So I set to work on an all-butter crust, in the middle of a humid August afternoon, with the kitchen windows open.  I know, I know, all you pie crust makers out there.  What was I thinking?  See photo.  I don’t even want to talk about it.

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I will tell you that I egg-washed the crust to death to fill in the cracks hoping only at that point to save my back from all the scrubbing I would have to do to get a whole mess of leaked-out, cooked cake filling off the pie plate later.

As for the finished pie.  They say anything in a pie crust is delicious and I say, Delicious?  No.  Passable for a few mornings with coffee?  Sure.  And now I am a proponent of keeping your coffee cake separate from your pie.

Back to the cherry juice.  I made lemonade for the kids the other day and right before I served it to them in their little cups with paper straws (Pizzazz!), I added a good splash of sweet cherry juice (Double pizzazz!).

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After taking their first sips, Long live the Queen!–they chanted wildly.

One of, if not the very first recipes I clipped our first summer living in the Midwest was for, romantically so, fresh-squeezed lemonade. and is called Carson Gulley’s lemonade.  Mr. Gulley was head chef of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1927-1954 and had his own weekly cooking show, “What’s Cooking” on local television.

The recipe is for a full gallon, but here’s my version, cut in half.

Begin with four lemons and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar.   Thinly slice one of the lemons and place in a pitcher with the sugar.  Using a wooden spoon, lightly press the lemons into the sugar.  Leave rest for 30 minutes.

Speaking of rest…while the lemon slices and sugar are getting to know each other, I’ll be reading a book in my favorite chair outside beneath my favorite tree.

After 30 minutes is up, juice the remaining three lemons into the pitcher.  It’s easy to catch the seeds if you squeeze your lemons into a small strainer over the mouth of the pitcher.

Finally add enough water and ice to fill the pitcher (a half-gallon).

You have successfully captured one of summer’s fleeting moments!  Enjoy!

 

 

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