cherry

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.

 

Chicken with Cherry Mustard Sauce

Chicken with Cherry Mustard Sauce

Cherries are one of my favorite fruits to cook with. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating cherries fresh. I bake with them and make sweet treats like jam. But, cherries are so wonderful when combined with different proteins. I love to pair cherries with duck, pork and chicken.

 

I think cherries add a special touch when added to main dishes. I have used them in any number of sauces, glazes, chutneys and marinades over the years.

 

This time, I was looking for a way to dress up some chicken. I remembered that I had a pound of cherries in the fridge. I made the cherry mustard sauce while the chicken was baking. Here is what I did.

 

Chicken with Cherry Mustard Sauce

 

To prepare the chicken: I had about 3 lbs. of bone-in chicken pieces. I seasoned them with salt and pepper and placed them in a 400-degree oven. I knew the chicken would take about 45-50 minutes to cook. I made the sauce while the chicken was cooking- sauce recipe follows. When the sauce was done, I left it in the skillet while the chicken finished cooking.

When I took the chicken out of the oven, I removed the pieces from the roasting pan and placed them skin side down in the skillet with the cherry sauce. I turned the heat onto medium-high and turned the chicken a few times until both sides were coated from the cherry sauce and the sauce had sort of glazed the chicken.

This would be a nice sauce to finish off grilled or broiled chicken, too.

 

Cherry Mustard Sauce

 

3 T. oil

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. cherries, pitted and halved

½ c. apple cider vinegar

¼ c. brown sugar

3 T. Dijon mustard

1 t. celery seed

1 t. hot sauce, or to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In large skillet, heat oil and cook onions until tender. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add the cherries and cook over medium- high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and turn heat down to medium. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Adjust seasonings. This sauce can be used to glaze meats, or served on the side. I used it with chicken, but it would be wonderful with duck, turkey or pork, too. Makes about 3 cups of cherry sauce.

 

 

 

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 and Blueberry Clafoutis

Cherry and Blueberry Clafoutis

I posted the picture of my clafoutis and now, as promised, here is the recipe. So what is clafoutis?

Clafoutis is a sort of pancake, sort of custard, sort of quiche. It is a lovely dessert for fresh fruit, for sure.

You can serve it plain, or topped with powdered sugar. I like to serve it with a scoop of ice cream on a hot day.

Clafoutis is really simple to make, too. You start by putting the fruit in a prepared pan. The batter is made in a blender, and takes just a couple of minutes to prepare. You pour the batter over the fruit- and bake.

I used cherries and blueberries in this one, but you can use all sorts of fruits- peaches, plums, raspberries…..

Most people enjoy it as a dessert, but it is also nice with that morning cup of coffee.

I used a combination I thought would make a nice dessert for the 4th of July. Blueberries and raspberries would work as well.

Cherry and Blueberry Clafoutis

2 c. pitted cherries, I cut them in half, but you can leave whole

1 c. blueberries

3 eggs

1 c. sugar

3 T. melted butter

½ c. flour

2 t. vanilla extract

1 t. almond extract

pinch of salt

1 c. half and half

powdered sugar, optional

 

Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish or pie pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cherries and blueberries in the prepared pan. In blender, combine eggs, sugar, butter, flour, flavorings and salt.* Blend until smooth. Add half and half and blend again until smooth. Pour batter over the cherries and blueberries. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until clafoutis is browned around edges and puffed up. Allow to cool and dust with powdered sugar, if you like. It will deflate as it cools. Serves 6.

 

* You can whisk the ingredients together by hand, if you prefer.

 

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.

New Release: