Cherries!

June 28th, 2009 by Dawn

I spend all year dreaming about summer produce, especially our local Washington fruit.  For a couple weeks now, I’ve gone strawberry-crazy, making ice cream, jam, and eating them plain with a touch of our really nice balsamic from Italy, which is sadly almost gone.

Cherry season!

I was about to make a strawberry tart this weekend, when I realized that cherry season is quickly slipping away!  Next week is already the last week of sour cherries from Mair Farm-Taki at the U-District market.  Why does it all come at the exact same time, and in spades?  I spend twice as much time in the kitchen in the summertime, it seems.  Not wanting to miss out, I grabbed a bunch of cherries this weekend, and we have quickly switched over to cherries in everything.

We had a breakfast of cherry baby dutch pancake, with Skagit River Ranch bacon.  Dessert tonight was a sour cherry almond cobbler.  Plans for the next week include salmon with grilled sweet onions, sweet cherries, and balsamic; David Tanis’ cherry-almond clafoutis (from A Platter of Figs), and Jerry Traunfeld’s goat cheese handkerchiefs with tart cherries and sage (from The Herbal Kitchen).

And then it’s on to apricots, peaches, blueberries, and blackberries.

Cherry almond cobbler; cherry baby dutch pancake 

Sour Cherry Almond Cobbler
Adapted from Ripe for Dessert, by David Lebovitz
Serves 8

David’s recipe uses sweet cherries, but I love the bracing tartness of sour cherries in my pies and cobblers.

For the filling:
5 cups sour cherries, stemmed and pitted (about 2 pounds)
1 cup sugar
3½ tablespoons cornstarch

For the topping:
7 ounces almond paste
1/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the filling: Mix the cherries with 1 cup of sugar and the cornstarch and arrange them in an even layer in a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

To make the topping: Beat together the almond paste and the 1/3 cup of sugar, until the almond paste is finely broken up.  Beat in the butter, then beat in the egg and the vanilla or almond extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter and almond paste mixture, stir in the milk, and finally the remaining dry ingredients.

Spoon the batter evenly over the cherries in the baking dish and bake for 45 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

10 Responses to “Cherries!”

  1. syaz says:

    ohh..ur flower plate is so gorgeous.

  2. Ben says:

    Good timing – we convinced one of our neighbors mostly through careful application of cute children to let us harvest the sour cherries from her tree this weekend. Its a hard call but sour cherry pie may be my favorite flavor.
    Ben

  3. Megan@Feasting on Art says:

    Absolutely gorgeous photographs!! My mouth is now watering for cherries!

  4. ts says:

    We have a huge (sour?) cherry tree in the backyard (or in the neighbor’s, but overhanging ours.) Every cherry is out of reach. Can’t climb, can’t reach them. Ben – how did you do it?

  5. BRUCE LM says:

    Please, tell us where to find the bowl!

  6. Dawn says:

    Bruce, I have no idea if you can get it – we got a set of them from Eric’s parents, from their old collection of china. There aren’t any markings on it to provide any hints. This post has photos of other views of the bowl, though: http://www.wrightangle.com/food/blog/2008/07/22/strawberries-and-rose-geranium

  7. Kathy says:

    I love all your photos but I have never loved one as much as the first cherry photo. Bravo!

  8. Chris says:

    Eeek. How will I stop thinking about Washington cherries from here in Boston MA? I wait all year for them. Now, with your beautiful photo, with the cherries displayed like stamen and pistil of a pure white cherry blossom … it’s gorgeous.

  9. Divina says:

    That’s an awesome cherry pie. As always, the photos are awesome.

  10. sarah says:

    What a beautiful shot of the cherries. Looks like a great recipe. Looking forward to cherries being back in season in the summer.

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