National Rainier Cherry Day is July 11

Levi Jacobs.jpg

Golden cherries with a pink or red blush are called Rainiers and they are sweet and juicy! They do not grow in North Dakota, but there are local vendors, like Levi Jacobs from Regent, ND, who bring fresh-picked Rainiers to our local communities. Always look for your local vendors who, in turn, spend their profits locally and help our rural economies.

Here are five facts you may not know about Rainier Cherries

  1. Rainiers are the only cherry that have their own national holiday.

  2. Bing and Van cherries were crossed in 1952 and Rainiers were born.

  3. Its name comes from Washington State’s largest mountain, Mt. Rainier.

  4. Rainier cherries grow up to a full size larger than their dark red sisters.

  5. Rainiers are best eaten fresh, but they can be used in sweet and savory recipes. Try the one below.

photo from simplysated.com

photo from simplysated.com

Rainier Cherry Pie Bites

Ingredients:

1 pie crust (your favorite)

1 pint Rainier cherries, washed, dried and pitted

1 egg

1 tsp. water

2 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. honey

1/2 tsp. almond extract or Amaretto

Coarse salt for garnish

Preheat oven to 450. Roll out pie crust, then cut into rounds with a 1-3/4”- 2” biscuit cutter. Place rounds on parchment lined baking sheet.

Whisk egg with 1 tsp. water to make egg wash. Lightly brush crusts with egg wash.Combine cinnamon and sugar, then sprinkle mixture onto crusts.

Bake crust circles 9-10 min. Remove from oven and while crusts are hot, gently indent the middle of each circle with the rounded surface of a melon baller. Cool.

In small bowl, combine honey and almond extract or Amaretto. Dip bottom of a cherry in the honey mixture and place in the middle of each crust. Drizzle top of cherry with honey mixture.

Lightly sprinkle each pie bite with coarse salt.

Enjoy!