This takes me back to my childhood, somewhat. My daughter is always looking for things that remind her of her childhood, although she’s still in her childhood I tell her. Then she’s not happy with me . . .
Anyway — when I was a girl scout back in Illinois, we made some little toasted pies. I was growing at a shocking rate and eating everything in sight, and on one campout we took bread and buttered it on both sides.
Then popped the bread into a toaster iron like the one pictured here:
After pressing each slice firmly into the iron, we added dollops of canned cherry pie stuff, shut the toaster iron and cooked it over the campfire until hot and bubbly, and incredibly delicious to me at the time . . .
I’ve been craving them ever since.
So when I was cleaning out my freezer, trying to come up with something for my 4 pound bag of frozen cherries and my 1 quart bag of frozen rhubarb, voila!
My freezer is packed to the brim right now, and I can’t even freeze my extra garden produce. It’s use it (in the freezer) or lose it (in the garden). So frozen it is . . .
I made the pie filling more concentrated and not as sugary as the pie filling of my childhood. I planned to do a super fabulous picture by picture, but my photos turned out very out of focus.
Cherry Rhubarb Pie Filling
4 pounds frozen cherries (non-tart)
4 cups diced rhubarb
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup cornstarch
Heat frozen cherries (or fresh) with rhubarb and sugar until juicy and simmering.
To 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 teaspoons vanilla add 3/4 cups cornstarch, and stir until smooth.
Add cornstarch mixture to cherry/rhubarb gradually, stirring over medium low heat until thickened.
Stir into hot sterilized pint jars (I prepared 6 pint jars, and would use 2 pints per large pie, or 1-2 per cherry rhubarb crisp and for the little pie irons, just enough to fit between the two buttered pieces of bread . . .). Process in water bath for 25 minutes.
It looks really dark and intense. I can’t wait to make the pies!
Just a thought — the best thing to use for pie filling that is canned is ClearJel. I don’t know where to get it around here, and I’m somewhat impulsive when cleaning out the freezer (freezer cleaning usually happens when I can’t shut the thing anymore . . .), so I used cornstarch. Next time I hope to post a filling with ClearJel.