Friday, July 31, 2009

Sour Cherry Cake

My original plan was to make a peach cobbler, but Mr. Hunting Creek brought home a basket of sour cherries. They were so pretty, like little rubies. They looked just like fairy tale cherries, in twin stems and almost glowing in their sour redness. We each ate one. No lie, they are sour. But sour in a nice way, and super juicy. I decide to adapt a recipe I noticed for cranberries.

First I had to pit the cherries, so Mr. Hunting Creek set up Pandora for The Red Hot Chili Peppers and friends and I sat down for the pitting with my trusty Italian cherry pitter. I pitted them over a bowl because they were so juicy. It is sticky work; your fingers and your hands will be sticky, but amazingly, not red. The juice was palest pink. See how pretty they are in the baking dish? Of course I used my favorite Bennington pie plate. Things somehow taste better in a pretty baking dish.
It only took about six songs to pit them all. Then I poured the juice in the bowl through a strainer and got the few tablespoons of juice into the baking dish from the pitting. I felt so frugal saving it.
The recipe I used is adapted from Laurie Colwin's Nantucket Cranberry Pie
from her wonderful book, More Home Cooking. Adapted of course, for Sour Cherries and my own preferences.

Mount Vernon Sour Cherry Cake (inspired by Laurie Colwin's Nantucket Cranberry Pie)

Pit about 2 cups of cherries. In the bottom of a 10 inch pie pan or springform pan, place the cherries, and 3/4 cup of sugar. (Mine were very sour, so I used 3/4 cup of sugar. Peaches would only need 1/2 cup, I think.)
In a bowl, mix 2 eggs, 3/4 cup melted butter (that's a stick and a half) 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir til smooth. Pour over cherries and bake for 40 minutes at 350. Eat with ice cream.

This may be the easiest summer fruit recipe you will ever see, and no one thought to convert it to a summer recipe until I happened to think, "hey, that would be good with cherries". This is another reason why reading cookbooks in bed is such a valuable bad habit.

In sewing news, I have been working on and off on that baby quilt, and when I have some visible progress I'll show you a picture.
Auntie Allyn, you won the Amy Butler Velma Bag drawing, so send your address via email and I'll mail it to you. My address is a post or two down.
Have a great weekend and bake a summer fruit cake. You'll be glad you did.


Karen said...

Oh, yummy! We got sour cherries this year, but I didn't stop at just one. I had plans for mine, as well, except all I ended up with was sticky fingers and a fruit bellyache. Maybe next year.

I need to move Laurie Colwin from the upstairs bookshelf to the kitchen bookshelf where I can remember to check in on her.

Allison said...

I haven't visited your blog before, but googled for a recipe and found yours today. I'm baking it right now and have hopes that it will turn out very well. The batter tasted great. Thanks for sharing the recipe!