cherry recipe

Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

I was having some friends over recently and wanted a gluten free dessert. I was also lucky enough to have recently received some frozen cherries from King Orchards in Michigan.* Inspiration struck and I ended up making these mini cherry cheesecakes. The crust is a shortbread type cookie made with gluten free flour. The filling pretty straight forward with a nice splash of lemon juice and vanilla. The cherries are a variety called Balaton with Hungarian origins. While they are considered a tart cherry they are darker than most tart cherries and have a sweetness to them that I just love. I used 2 cups of frozen cherries-I like a lot of cherries on my cheesecake- but I only used 2 tablespoons of sugar to sweeten them. The recipe made a dozen. Here is what I did.

Balaton Cherry Mini Cheesecakes – Gluten Free

Crust:

1/4 c. softened butter

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. gluten free flour – found in some grocery stores- I got mine at Costco

pinch of salt.

Filling: 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. sugar

2 T. lemon juice

2 t. vanilla

2 eggs

Balaton Cherry Topping:

2 c. Balaton cherries- or other frozen tart cherries- thawed

2 T. sugar, or to your taste

1 t. tapioca starch- you could also use cornstarch

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 12 muffin pans with paper or foil liners. In mixing bowl combine ingredients for crust by first mixing the butter and sugar together and then stirring in the flour and salt. Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll into balls. Place one ball in each paper lined pan and press to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes. While crust is baking make the filling. Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and blend until smooth.  Stir in the eggs. Spoon the batter into the muffin pans- they will be pretty full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffy and set. Cheesecakes will flatten a little when cooled. While the cheesecakes are baking you can make the cherry topping. Pour off any liquid from the defrosted cherries into a small saucepan. You should have about half a cup. Add sugar and tapioca starch or cornstarch and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens- it just takes a few minutes. Stir in the cherries and allow mixture to cool down. Once cheesecakes and topping are both cooled down spoon cherries over the cheesecakes and chill until ready to eat. These could be frozen- but you aren’t going to have any left over.

*http://kingorchards.com/

 

 

 

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcake

Black Forest Cupcake

We made these in class the other night. It’s really a simple cupcake but it looks downright elegant. You start with a chocolate cupcake, but only fill the cups half full. That way the baked cupcake just comes up to the top of the paper liner. Pipe sweetened whipped cream around the edges- or you could used frozen whipped topping and add cherry pie filling in the middle. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Black Forest Cupcakes

1 (18.5 ounce) package chocolate cake mix, I like Duncan Hines

2 containers whipped topping, thawed, or 2 c. whipping cream

1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven according to box directions for cupcakes. Line 36 cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Mix cake according to package directions. Fill cupcake liners slightly less than half full. (You want the cupcake to bake up close to level with the top of the liner. Bake according to package directions. Cool completely.

After cupcakes are cooled completely, frost with a level layer of whipped topping. Spoon remaining topping into pastry bag fitted with a star decorating tip. Pipe around the edges of the cupcakes. Spoon a small amount of cherry pie filling in the center of each. Refrigerate and enjoy! Makes 36.

Note: you can use real whipping cream, if you prefer, slightly sweetened or use the whipped cream in the aerosol cans-very easy that way.