Very cherry delights
From blossoms to freshly picked fruit, cherries may just be the ideal warm weather fruit. Their luscious hue comes from the antioxidants, but their sweetness makes them a welcome addition to any dessert.
Here are a pair of cherry dessert recipes to try at your next feast, courtesy of News Canada:
Cherry Upside Down Cake
The simplicity of this cake can’t be beat. Slightly caramelized sweet juicy cherries sit on a super moist vanilla cake.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
Standing time: 15 minutes
Makes: 10 servings
3 tbsp unsalted butter (45 mL)
1/2 cup brown sugar (125 mL)
4 cups California cherries, pitted (1 L)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (125 mL)
1 cup granulated sugar (250 mL)
2 tsp vanilla (10 mL)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (375 mL)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (7 mL)
1/4 tsp each baking soda and salt (1 mL)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (1 mL)
1/2 cup buttermilk (125 mL)
Icing sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) baking pan. In small pan, melt butter, then stir in brown sugar, and cook until sugar dissolves and boils for 1 minute. Pour into pan and spread evenly. Arrange cherries in a single layer over sugar mixture.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides until blended. Add vanilla and beat. In a small bowl, stir flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Gradually add flour to butter mixture alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour.
3. Spread batter evenly over cherries. Bake in centre of preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes. Check cake after 50 minutes, and cover loosely with foil if getting too dark. Run a knife around the edge of cake pan. After 15 minutes, carefully invert onto a cake plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar if you like.
Next: Open Faced Cherry Tart
Open Faced Cherry Tart
Making and baking a traditional pie crust is more challenging than this open-concept cherry tart pastry. The cornmeal adds an extra dimension to the crust, as do the almond-flavoured macaroon cookies.
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (325 mL)
2 tbsp cornmeal (30 mL)
2 tsp granulated sugar (10 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed (125 mL)
1/4 cup ice water (approx) (50 mL)
1/4 cup finely crumbled Italian macaroons (50 mL)
4 cups California cherries, pitted (1 L)
2 tsp orange peel (10 mL)
2 tbsp granulated sugar (30 mL)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (1 mL)
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional) (0.5 mL)
1 egg yolk
1 tsp granulated sugar (5 mL)
Whipped cream or ice cream (optional)
1. In food processor, pulse flour with cornmeal, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse until it is the size of peas with a few larger pieces. Drizzle with 3 tbsp (45 mL) water. Pulse until mixture is moistened, adding remaining water by 1/2 tsp (2 mL) if needed. Pulse just until dough starts to gather into a ball. Then turn out onto work surface. Gather and knead gently to bring together. Shape into disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or for up to 3 days.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface roll dough very thinly into a circle measuring about 12inches (30cm). Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Discard any excess dough. Carefully wrap dough around rolling pin and transfer to parchment paper. Sprinkle macaroons in centre of circle, leaving a 11/2-inch (3.5-cm) border.
3. Place cherries in bowl along with orange peel, sugar, cinnamon and almond extract. Stir well to evenly distribute orange peel. Turn cherry mixture onto macaroons. Fold pastry over cherries to enclose, leaving circle about 5-inch (12.5 cm) in the middle so that you can still see fruit. Whisk egg yolk with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water then brush over pastry. Sprinkle pastry with sugar. Bake on bottom shelf of preheated oven until a deep golden, about 20 to 23 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious with whipped cream or ice cream.
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