Cherry Pai — As I Sit By The River

Once upon a time, not that long ago, but long ago enough that it happened in Chapter One, I was in the mall one evening and there was some kind of a New Age fair being held in the middle.  There was a woman sitting at a table with a pile of Tarot cards and a few pretty pebbles, and she told me that if I would cross her palm with silver (or a 20 shekel note) she would read mine (palm, not the money).  I’m not even sure if I believe in palm readings, but, why not?  I sat down and she took my hand in hers.

“You are going to have many children,” she told me.

“I do have many children,” I answered.  At that point Sassy was 15, Nomush was 14, Tinky was 10 and Didi was 8.  Didi had enough attitude for 8.  Eight children.  Yes, I felt that I had many children.  “I have four daughters,” I told my faux-gypsy, and was starting to wish I hadn’t parted with that 20 shekel note after all.

“You will have more children,” said Gypsy Faux.  “You will have five girls and three boys.”  Yeah, right, like that was really going to happen.

Miriyummy thinks she knows better and God laughs.  Six years later I married Ju-Boy and added three boys and one girl to my family.  Yes, I had the pleasure of cooking for and cleaning up after five girls and three boys.

Shani and her Sasquatch, a little souvenier she brought home from Australia

Ju-Boy’s lone girl is Scarlet, she of the peanut butter chipped brownies.  I will admit that out of all the step-kids, Scarlet is the least labor intensive.  When she lived in the house you hardly knew she was there.  She did her own laundry, cleaned (or didn’t) her own room, and even puttered around the kitchen making her own meals every now and again.  The only time you could really feel Scarlet’s presence in the house was when she practiced her music.  Scarlet is an accomplished piano player, and her guitar playing is also very easy on the ears.  Both of her paternal grandparents were musicians, and while the talent may have skipped a generation (Ju-Boy couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket) Scarlet seems to have cornered most of the market when it comes to musical DNA.  But don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself.  Click on this link and then listen to her music.

My personal favorite is called Pai.  The soft music of the guitar, the soothing words, I can feel my body relax, my shoulders distance themselves a bit from my ears, and for a moment I can actually feel that I am dipping my toes in some sylvan brook.

And while I have my favorite Scarlet song, Scarlet has her favorite Miriyummy creation, which also happens to be scarlet, cherry scarlet.  Whenever she and Sasquatch come for Friday night dinner I try to make sure to have it on the dessert menu.  So let me introduce you to Scarlet’s Cherry Pai (not all my seques are this graceful, but you have to admit, this one worked out well, didn’t it?)…

Scarlet’s Cherry Pai

This dessert is so incredibly easy.  Pay good attention to the directions.  When I say “don’t mix” I mean “DON’T MIX!”

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) butter or margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (in Israel just use one little packet)
  • 1 cup milk or soy milk
  • 1 large jar pitted sour cherries in syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (350 degrees F).
  2. Place the butter/margarine in a largish oval Pyrex dish and melt in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  Alternatively, you can melt it on the stovetop and pour it into the dish.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and (soy) milk.  Pour this batter right into the middle of the melted butter puddle.
  4. DO NOT MIX!
  5. Open the jar of cherries and pour that, syrup and all, right into the middle of the batter puddle which is in the middle of the melted butter puddle.  Try to get the cherries evenly distributed throughout the dish.
  6. DO NOT MIX!
  7. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.  The batter will rise to the top creating a soft crust, the cherries will sink to the bottom and mindmeld with the butter and a little bit of the starch from the batter and make a yummy cherry sauce.
  8. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or sorbet.  This last Shabbat we served it with chocolate mousse and turned it into Black Forest Pai!

Not pretty, I know (and out of focus), but this goopy mess turns into a yummy dessert!

Soft and yummy crust, with the scarlet cherries waiting underneath to enthrall your taste buds

A much prettier slice of pai courtesy of Chef Mommie on


About Miriyummy

All I want to do is live happily ever after.

Posted on 13 March 2011, in Dessert, Family Life, Fruit, Shabbat and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Another great story and “cute” connection to what looks like a YUM dessert!



  2. Thanks! Sometimes I really have to force the connection, but this one just fell into place.


  3. nice segue…


  4. SOUR CHERRIES–Once again the Hungarian blood shows through.
    I had sour cherry juice last week at a local “northern European” cuisine restaurant for brunch. the non-Hungarians didn’t get why I ordered it.
    I’ll have to make this soon.


  5. Irmgard Upmanis

    I will have to go on Zaar and save this recipe to try. It has two pluses – easy to make and scrummy. And for the record, Mirj, I visit a psychic from time to time and most of what she has told has come true.


  6. Hi! Where do you get the sour cherries (kosher)?I live in Jerusalem. My HUNGARIAN in-laws are coming this week – maybe I’ll make it for them. I married a real Hungarian from Budapest (and I’m a step mom too!). Thanks for your blog. I love it.


    • I usually find them in the canned/jarred fruit section of my supermarket, pitted and in syrup. But that’s not always the case, and then I just use regular cherries. You can also use canned Sagiv plums in syrup, that works wonderfully as well, just split the plums in half and remove the pit.


      • Thanks! I found the cherries and I made it. It was DELICIOUS! But, the cake top didn’t cover over all of the seemed like there wasn’t enough batter for the amount of cherries. I used the jar (680 g by אלסקה. Maybe I need to make double the batter next time? or use a smaller pan? It was good though – my husband ate 3/4 of the pan.


  7. Pai = very beautiful! I can see why you find it so relaxing…


  8. A beautiful song and story:) I can’t wait to try the recipe out this Shabbos. Thank you.


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