The cherries for this year’s Cherry Festival at St. Mark’s were purchased in July, 2018, from Cherry Lane farms.
In total, 104 pails of cherries were ordered; 94 of the 11-pound pails for pies, 10 for jam. The cherries were delivered to a St. Davids storage facility where they were frozen and kept until needed.
The jam team began making jam for this year’s festival in February.
Pie teams started work in April, which continued over four weeks. A team of men transported frozen cherries (one instalment per week for four weeks) from St. Davids to St. Mark’s, allowing the cherries to defrost for two days in the church kitchen before a team of women began making the pie filling to be placed in the church refrigerators for four pie-making sessions.
An assembly line of 20 to 25 women made and rolled out pastry, then filling pies, placing a top crust, crimping it and finally bagging the pies.
The pies were then placed on a trolley and rolled to the rectory to be frozen. The same week, a team of men took the frozen pies back to St. Davids to be put in cold storage, allowing the process to continue the following week.
This process occurs every year, with the pie-making usually complete by Victoria Day weekend.
July 5, at 8 a.m., a team of men will begin transporting frozen pies from St. Davids to the church; a team of women assemble at St. Mark’s to bake 350 pies in the church’s one commercial-size and two-regular-size ovens, in batches of 45 pies at a time.
Baked pies are placed on racks to cool, then bagged and boxed. Another 100 pies will be baked and sliced for the pie and ice cream table, the balance sold frozen.
July 6, at 9 a.m., the sale of boxed frozen and fresh-baked cherry pies begins when the 2019 Cherry Festival opens.
Ingredients for 749 cherry pies include:
• 94 11-pound pails
• 216 boxes of Tender
• 21 10-pound bags
• 36 two-kilogram bags
• Many dozen eggs.
• Hours and hours of work
“It was fun to beat last year’s record for the number of pies made, but that’s not the main focus,” said the head of the pie-making team Diane Turner.
“It’s to keep up the quality and have fun doing it.”