So, I have just moved from my beloved sunny south to the midwest. (Hence my lack of posts the last two weeks.) This means I have to learn a whole new way of thinking about seasons, local food, and regional traditions. It is an adventure and I’ve decided to start off by learning how to work with a new fruit: Michigan tart cherries. Serendipitiously, the Spilled Milk episode on Sour Cherries recently aired and at that point I had never heard of them. But here in my new state, in and among the beautiful northwestern sweet cherries, I found them. Look at these beauties!
I thought about trying to make jam or jelly, but it seemed like I should start with something I already make. I decided on serious comfort food: cobbler. To start with I had to figure out how to pit the silly things. Here is my method. A well-placed, but gentle, squeeze behind the pit, such that the pit pops out of the hole that the stem would be in seems to be the most efficient way. There are, apparently, specialized kitchen tools for cherry pitting. As evidenced by this“how-to” video from YouTube touting their particular tool. I found that my low-tech method works just fine. The only drawback is the incredible amount of cherry juice splatters that I managed to get virtually everywhere. Looked like a scene from a slasher movie!
Anyhow, this recipe isn’t particularly ww friendly, in fact, I won’t even bother giving the points to you. But, if you are judicious about how much you eat at one sitting, you could plan for it just like any desert. This is comfort food at its finest and any fruit (or combinations of fruits) can be used.
Tart Cherry and Blueberry Cobbler
- 1 cup pitted tart cherries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 stick of salted butter
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2-3/4 cup granulated sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)
- 2 teaspoons coursely granulated turbinado sugar
Wash and pat dry the fruit. Place in a 9×9 glass or metal pan that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cut the butter up into small pats and spread evenly across the fruit. In a large bowl whisk the milk, flour, and sugar together until smooth. Pour evenly over the fruit and butter mixture. Place in a pre-heated 350 oven for approximately 30-45 minutes. At around 20-30 minutes check the top to see if it is ready to be sprinkled with the turbinado sugar. You’ll know it is ready when the crust is set, but is not yet browning. At that point sprinkle the turbinado sugar across the top and bake until the crust is brown and the sugar is mostly melted into the crust. Take out of the oven and cool for at least 30 mintues before serving. Excellent on its own, but really shines with a little ice cream on the side or a dollop of fresly whipped heavy cream. Your baking time might be altered by the amount of moisture in your fruit. I have had this take as long as 50 minutes and be done as quickly as 30. This recipe is very tolerant of creativity in terms of the fruit and sugar. I have made this with apples, peaches, all types of berries, and even rubarb. Leftovers are quite nice for breakfast the next day!