cherry recipe

Fresh Cherry Cake

Fresh Cherry Cake

This cherry cake is the perfect summer dessert. It is full of fresh cherries and not too sweet. I love to serve it warm from the oven, but even at room temp, it is a crowd pleaser.

The cake is great, just as it is, but can also be dressed up with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream or a drizzle of melted chocolate.

While fresh cherries are in season, I try to use them in as many dishes as I can. I also pit and freeze some to enjoy later. I used fresh, pitted cherries, but you could use frozen, if you prefer.

The recipe calls for biscuit mix- like Bisquick. You can use store bought, or even make your own. I included a recipe for homemade biscuit mix at the bottom of this post.

So here is the recipe. Enjoy!!

Fresh Cherry Cake

2 c. biscuit mix*

1/2 c. sugar

1/3 c. milk

2 T. oil

1 egg

1½ c. pitted cherries- sweet or sour

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×9-inch pan. Beat all ingredients together, except cherries, for about 30 seconds. Fold in cherries and pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cake should be golden brown on top and test clean with a toothpick. Serve warm, if you can.

*You can use Bisquick or Jiffy Mix, or use homemade. Recipe follows.

 

Pastry Mix/ Biscuit Mix

8 cups sifted, all-purpose flour

1 c. powdered milk

1 c. powdered buttermilk

¼ c. baking powder

1 T. salt

2 c. shortening**

Sift dry ingredients together 3 times. Cut in shortening to resemble cornmeal. Keep in an airtight container.  Store in a cool dry place and use within six months.

**You can use coconut oil, if you prefer. If you do, chill coconut oil before making the mix, and store mix in fridge.

 

Spiced Cherries

Spiced Cherries

These cherries are so good, I am already wishing I had canned more of them. I was inspired by my cousin, Laurie, who needed spiced cherries for a recipe she wants to make.

I first thought about the spices I wanted to use. I didn’t want to overpower the cherries, but I wanted the spices to complement the flavor of the fruit. In the end I used cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, fenugreek, cloves and some cracked black pepper.

Once I decided which spices I wanted to use, I steeped them in boiling water. Kind of like making tea. Then I strained out the spices and used the spiced water in the syrup for the cherries.  I could just have added spices to the cherries when I canned them, but I didn’t want stuff in the jars I would need to strain out later. I also knew the spices would get more intense over time, if left in the jars. By making a tea and tasting it, I knew what level of spice I would have in the final product.

The spiced cherries can just be eaten, right out of the jar. They can also be drained and added to fruit salads or used to top desserts. You can also use them to bake with. They aren’t overly sweet.

Laurie is using them in some sort of chocolate cherry martini. Now that sounds good!!!

They would make nice gifts, too.

 

So here is my recipe for spiced cherries.

 

Spiced Cherries

 

7 (3-4 inch) cinnamon sticks

2 T. fennel seeds

2 T. fenugreek seeds

1 T. whole cloves

1 T. cracked black pepper

5 c. water

11 lbs. sweet cherries

3¼ c. sugar

Zest of 2 limes

Juice of 2 limes

 

Place spices in a large pot and turn heat on to medium. Toast spices in pot for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You should be able to smell them. Watch so they don’t burn. Add the water to the spices, bring to a boil, and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Longer cooking is fine. Fill water bath canner with water and heat up water to a simmer.   In the meantime, pit the cherries. You should end up with about 4½-5 quarts of pitted fruit. You can hold pitted cherries in a bowl of water with a little ascorbic acid in it, to prevent browning. Set aside. Remove the spiced water from the heat. Strain out the spices and discard them. Measure the spiced water and add enough fresh water to equal 5 cups. Return water to pot with the cherries (drained if they were in water), sugar, zest and lime juice. Bring mixture to a boil. Fill pint jars with cherries and cooking liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe rims and screw on lids until fingertip tight. Place jars in water bath canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by 1-2 inches. Place lid on canner, and start timing when water returns to the boil. Process for 15 minutes. Remove jars from canner and place on a cooling rack or towel, in a draft free area. Once cooled, check the lids to make sure they are sealed. Remove bands and wipe down jars. Label and store. Makes about 9 pints.

Times and procedures all used NCHFP guidelines.

Jars cooling down

Cherry Almond Sorbet

Cherry Almond Sorbet

This summer, I have been obsessed with making sorbets. The basic recipe is simple –  just pureed fruit, some sweetener and usually, some flavoring or herb, to add interest. They are so light and refreshing. The perfect dessert for summer.

So far I have make sorbet from pineapples, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries (with red grapes), peaches, cranberries and coconut. I am sure I have forgotten some of them.

I picked up fresh cherries at the market, so I could make cherry sorbet.

Fresh cherries are one of my favorite fruits of all time. I love both sweet and sour cherries. For the sorbet, I just pitted a pound of cherries, added sugar and some lemon juice. It needed a little something more- so I added almond extract. Really worked well with the cherries.

So here is the recipe. Simple and sweet.

Cherry Almond Sorbet

1 lb. cherries, pitted

3/4 c. sugar, or to taste*

3 T. lemon juice – it helps the cherries retain their color

1 t. almond extract

Place cherries in blender or food processor, with the sugar and extract. Blend until smooth. Adjust sweetener to suit your taste. Place in a container with a lid and freeze. Once mixture is frozen, remove from the freezer, break into chunks and place in food processor. Process until mixture looks creamy and smooth. You might have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor. Eat or return to freezer until ready to use. Makes just over a quart of sorbet.

*Feel free to use other sweeteners you like in place of the sugar. Honey or maple syrup would both work nicely.

Cherry Bombs

Cherry Bombs

These little treats make a great addition to your 4th of July party. They are simple to make, with only three ingredients.  You can make them in no time at all. It is a fun treat for kids to make, too.

Think of the cherry bombs as a type of candy. A simple, sweet treat that can be served just as they are. They can also be used to top a cake or other dessert. You can even garnish a cocktail with them. I did the same thing with strawberries, but “strawberry bombs” did not have the same ring to it.

 

To make the cherry bombs, you will need cherries, white chocolate and blue sugar. If you don’t have blue sugar, you can put granulated sugar in a bag, add a few drops of blue food coloring, seal the bag and shake it up. The sugar will turn blue.

Wash and dry off some large, sweet cherries. Melt white chocolate, stirring until smooth. Dip the cherries in the white chocolate, then the blue sugar. Place on wax paper to firm up. Store in fridge.

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

 Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

I bought a lot of cherries, with plans to make jam and to dehydrate some. Maybe even make pie filling. But it is really hot here today, so I  decided to use some of the cherries to make cherry liqueur, instead. It is easy, and the reward is having this lovely liqueur to enjoy even when cherries aren’t in season. I added a couple of vanilla beans to mine, but you can leave them out, if you prefer. You could also add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

 

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

2 c. granulated sugar
4 c. vodka or brandy
1 lb. large, washed, stemmed and pitted sweet cherries
2 (6-7 inch) vanilla beans, broken into several pieces

Place sugar and vodka or brandy in a large jar- I used a half gallon canning jar. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add cherries and vanilla and cover jar. Do not stir. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 months, without stirring or shaking. Strain and filter. Divine! Makes 4-6 cups.

Cherry Bombs

Cherry Bombs

Cherry Bombs

These little treats make a great addition to your 4th of July party. They are simple to make, with only three ingredients.  You can throw them together in no time at all. I think of the cherry bombs as a type of candy. A simple, sweet treat that can be served just as they are. They can also be used to top a cake or other dessert. You can even garnish a cocktail with them. I did the same thing with strawberries, but “strawberry bombs” did not have the same ring to it.

 

To make the cherry bombs, you will need cherries, white chocolate and blue sugar. If you don’t have blue sugar, you can put granulated sugar in a bag, add a few drops of blue food coloring, seal the bag and shake it up. The sugar will turn blue.  Wash and dry off some large, sweet cherries. Melt white chocolate, stirring until smooth. Dip the cherries in the white chocolate, then the blue sugar. Place on wax paper to firm up. Store in fridge.

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

Who doesn’t love cherry pie? I know I do. I got together for coffee with a couple of friends recently and I wanted to make something to have with our coffee. I used cherry pie filling as the base for these scones. My pie filling was homemade.  Store bought cherry pie filling would work fine, too. They were just sweet enough and came out this beautiful pink color. They did remind me a little of cherry pie and summer. Nothing bad about that. The scones were great just as they were- but would also make a wonderful base for shortcake. I think with a scoop of ice cream or a bit of whipped cream, these scones would also make a nice dessert.

 

Cherry Scones

3 c. flour

1/4 c. sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/2 c. cold butter

1 1/3 c. cherry pie filling

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla

Glaze:

2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. vanilla

water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly. I have silicone baking mats so that is what I use. Set aside. In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Combine pie filling with eggs and vanilla and stir to blend well. Add to dry ingredients and stir until mixed well. Mixture will be a stiff batter. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of batter onto the baking sheets- leaving a couple of inches between them.  You will need both baking sheets. I used a 2 oz. ice cream scoop and got 22 scones. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. I switched my baking sheets about halfway through the baking. Remove to a cooling rack and make the glaze.

Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl and add enough water so the glaze is about the thickness of maple syrup, probably a couple of tablespoons. Dip the tops of each of the warm scones in the glaze and return to the cooling rack.

Homemade Cherry-Vanilla Liqueur

 Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

I bought a lot of cherries, with plans to make jam and to dehydrate some. Maybe even make pie filling. But it is really hot here today, so I  decided to use some of the cherries to make cherry liqueur, instead. It is easy, and the reward is having this lovely liqueur to enjoy even when cherries aren’t in season. I added a couple of vanilla beans to mine, but you can leave them out, if you prefer. You could also add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

 

Cherry Vanilla Liqueur

2 c. granulated sugar
4 c. vodka or brandy
1 lb. large, washed, stemmed and pitted sweet cherries
2 (6-7 inch) vanilla beans, broken into several pieces

Place sugar and vodka or brandy in a large jar- I used a half gallon canning jar. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add cherries and vanilla and cover jar. Do not stir. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 months, without stirring or shaking. Strain and filter. Divine! Makes 4-6 cups.

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

I found myself with an open can of cherry pie filling. Those who know me know that I hate to waste anything. It sat there in the fridge for several days, taunting me. I wanted to do something different but I wasn’t sure what. In the end I decided to make cherry scones. I started with a basic scone recipe and adjusted some ingredients to allow for the moisture of the pie filling. I experiment a lot with this sort of thing and am usually pretty good at it. Most things come out just fine. Sometimes, however, things come out better than fine. This is one of those recipes. I almost want to call them cherry biscuits. Soft, not too sweet and full of flavor from both the cherries and a vanilla glaze. I will surely make these again. Here is what I did.

 

 Cherry Scones

3 c. flour

1/4 c. sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/2 c. cold butter

1 1/3 c. cherry pie filling

2 eggs

2 t. vanilla

Glaze:

2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. vanilla

water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly. I have silicone baking mats so that is what I use. Set aside. In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Combine pie filling with eggs and vanilla and stir to blend well. Add to dry ingredients and stir until mixed well. Mixture will be a stiff batter. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of batter onto the baking sheets- leaving a couple of inches between them.  You will need both baking sheets. I used a 2 oz. ice cream scoop and got 22 scones. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. I switched my baking sheets about halfway through the baking. Remove to a cooling rack and make the glaze.

Combine the powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl and add enough water so the glaze is about the thickness of maple syrup, probably a couple of tablespoons. Dip the tops of each of the warm scones in the glaze and return to the cooling rack.

Cherry Vanilla Jam

Cherry Vanilla Jam

Cherry Vanilla Jam

I have some frozen cherries I got from King Orchards. They are neighbors of my sister in Central Lake, Michigan. I wanted to use some of them for cherry vanilla jam which is one of my all time favorites.

 

Cherry Vanilla Jam

4 1/2 c. chopped pitted sour cherries including any juice

2 T. lemon juice

2 T. pure vanilla extract

1 box powdered pectin

5 1/4 c. sugar

Wash jelly jars and lids  and keep warm until ready to use. Place a large pot of water, with a rack, on to boil for the water bath. In large saucepan combine cherries with lemon juice, vanilla and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Add the sugar and bring mixture back to a rolling boil, stirring often. Once the mixture gets to a full, rolling boil,  constantly stir for one minute longer. Remove jam from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, filling to about 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe off rim and screw on the lids. Repeat with remaining jam. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water bath and allow jars to cool.  Yield: about 7  half pint jars of jam.

 

 

 

 

 

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