Posts Tagged ‘cherry’

Whole Wheat Cherry Crumb Cake

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Have you ever wondered why blueberries get all the coffee cake glory? Yeah, they’re good … but cherries are bigger, brighter and perfectly sweet. I’ve been eating too many soulless Starbucks coffee cakes lately and had a craving for a real, homemade crumb cake this past weekend. I remembered reading about Smitten Kitchen’s “Big Crumb Coffee Cake” and decided to start there. I added some whole wheat pastry flour to up the whole grains, and paired nutmeg with my cherries instead of her rhubarb and ginger (not that those wouldn’t be good, but alas rhubarb has already come and gone here). The cherries came from Black Rock Orchard (PA) at the Falls Church Farmers Market.

Recipe: Whole Wheat Cherry Crumb Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Big Crumb Coffee Cake

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)

For the crumbs:
2/3 cup organic light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

For the cake:
1/3 cup whole milk yogurt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.

Toss cherries with tapioca starch and set aside.

To make crumb topping, melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir until combined. Fold in flour and set aside.

For the cake batter, whisk together yogurt, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. In the bowl of a mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Gradually add yogurt/egg mixture and mix until smooth.

Pour the batter into the baking dish. Spread cherries over the batter, then spread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake 45-55 minutes, until crumb topping is lightly browned and cake is cooked through. Cool before cutting, and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar. Makes 9 servings. Enjoy!

One Local Cherry Spare Ribs and Squash

Monday, July 6th, 2009

one local summer 2009We had a July 4th engagement party/barbecue to attend this year {congrats R & A!}, so the menu was out of our hands. The boy and I did make a cherry cobbler to take, though (recipe coming soon). And then we grilled Sunday night instead, a batch of Cheerwine-marinated spare ribs with eggplant and summer squash.

Cheerwine, for those who’ve never had it, is a cherry soda produced in North Carolina. We enjoyed routine deliveries while my little brother was stationed at Ft. Bragg, but have had it less frequently since he relocated.  While made outside the One Local Summer (OLS) 100ish-mile challenge border, we found it while stopping in a Food Lion on Virginia’s Northern Neck to stock up on another regional favorite, Northern Neck ginger ale. I don’t usually drink soda, let alone douse my dinner in high-fructose corn syrup*, but once a year or so we embrace our adopted Southern home and make Cheerwine ribs. This version used small pork spare ribs that were quickly grilled; lower and slower grilling will produce more tender ribs, but this was just fine for an easy meal to wrap up the long weekend. To up the health/OLS factor, we brushed the ribs with a fresh cherry glaze. I prefer a semi-tart cherry like Rainier or Queen Anne, but be warned that those produce a yellow sauce — so go with classic red cherries if you want that red color.

Recipe: Cheerwine Spare Ribs with Cherry Glaze

cheerwine marinated spare ribsIngredients:

Marinade:

  • 1.5 lb. pork spare ribs
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • 2 garlic scapes, thinly sliced
  • 1 can Cheerwine (or other cherry cola)

Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 spring onion, white portion, minced
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

cherry glazeIngredients: Season spare ribs with salt and pepper and place in shallow glass pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with scapes and pour Cheerwine over. Cover and let sit in refrigerator (turning if Cheerwine does not completely cover ribs) at least one hour, preferably half a day or longer. To make the glaze, put all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Simmer on low until cherries are falling apart, about 20 minutes. Smash cherries with a fork or blend glaze in a food processor or blender until combined.

To cook the ribs, heat the grill to medium high. Reduce to medium and cook ribs for 3 minutes per side. Brush with cherry glaze and cook an additional minute per side. Serve with additional glaze (“cherry ketchup” for dipping if that appeals to your kids.) Serves 4. Enjoy!

cherry glazed ribs and grilled squash

Farms of Origin: Smith Meadows Farm (VA, spare ribs), Kuhn Orchard (PA, Queen Anne cherries), Potomac Vegetable Farms (VA, scapes, spring onion, zucchini), Three Way Farm (VA, eggplant, pattypan squash), VA honey. (*You can find glass-bottled Cheerwine made with the original cane sugar formula, but they’re even harder to come by this far north.)

Summer Sweets: Clafoutis!

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

I’ve never been a huge cherry fan, but after getting reacquainted with fresh Rainier cherries I thought maybe I’d give some other varieties another try. This past weekend at the market, I picked up a quart of yellow-tinged Queen Anne cherries, slightly tart like the Rainiers. Another stand had signs saying last week for gooseberries. I’d never had gooseberries, so I snatched them up. Fortunately I read a well-timed post from The District Domestic warning about the tartness of green gooseberries before biting into one too eagerly. I decided to combine them with the cherries for yet another new-to-me experience, a cherry clafoutis. This French baked custard recipe has numerous intrepretations to choose from. I decided to start with The Garden Apartment’s fusion of Julia Child‘s and Foodbeam‘s recipes… I used buttermilk and more eggs, so it turned out something like this:

Recipe: Cherry-Gooseberry Clafoutis
Adapted from The Garden Apartment and others.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups berries (1/2 ea. gooseberries and Queen Anne cherries, halved and pitted)
  • 1/4 and 1/3 cup sugar
  • powdered sugar

Instructions: Toss berries with 1/4 sugar and let stand (adjust to taste; I’d use less with sweeter cherries). Preheat oven to 350*. In mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk butter, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, sugar, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter into buttered baking dish and bake 4 minutes or until batter begins to set. Remove from oven and spread berries over batter, then pour on rest of batter. Bake for another 50 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy! (Makes 6-8 servings.)

Notes: Next time I will probably use less or omit the butter, as it turned out a little oily. Also, I would use a tart pan next time as the pan I used was much too deep. (Didn’t affect taste, but not as photogenic as it could have been!) This not-too-sweet clafoutis would be a great base for other fruits or berries too – I might try it with blackberries later this summer.

Farms/Producers: Ingredients from Dupont Circle Farmers Market, including cherries from Toigo (PA) and eggs from Smith Meadow (VA).

One Local Summer, wk4: Spring Herb Chicken

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

This week’s OLS dinner was spring herb and yogurt marinated chicken, served with a swiss chard and maitake mushroom saute and a little non-local brown rice (leftover from another meal). Mushrooms, chicken and yogurt came from Pa. (slightly past the 100 mi. border), while the herbs (savory and chives) and chard came from our CSA, Potomac Vegetable Farms in Va. (23 mi.).

For dessert, Virginia ricotta and honey and sweet Pennsylvania cherries. Yum.

Ricotta from Blue Ridge Dairy, Va. (45 mi.)