Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cherry Nirvana! Oh my!

I love cherries. Cherry pie is my favorite variety of pie. But I needed to branch out a bit. Our friend Dicky picked some cherries last fall and gave me a bag of frozen cherries. I've been waiting for a special occasion to use them and Easter dinner fit the bill. I used a combination of two different recipes from Epicurious. The cherry mixture, with my changes in brackets, is from a cherry cobbler recipe. The topping is from a plum cobbler recipe. Combined they are NIRVANA! I didn't need to bother with dinner. And I know what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow too!

Cherry Cobbler

For cherry filling:
1 cup sugar [I used 2/3 c because I don't like it overly sweet]
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries (about 3 1/2 pints fresh, picked over) [I had 6 c of frozen strawberries. By the time I'd pitted them, I was down to about 5 -- I kept all the juice I could]
1 tablespoon Frangelico or Di Saronno Amaretto [I used about 1/2 tsp almond extract]
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice [I skipped this, didn't have it]

2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 large egg

Make filling:

In a large heavy saucepan whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add fresh or frozen cherries, liqueur, vanilla, and allspice and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer mixture, stirring, 2 minutes and transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Meanwhile, prepare biscuits:

Whisk flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in large bowl to blend. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Whisk whipping cream and egg in small bowl to blend. Stir cream mixture into flour mixture just until blended. Gently knead in bowl until dough comes together, about 5 turns.

Drop topping by rounded tablespoons onto cherry filling (do not completely cover it) and bake in middle of oven 30-40 minutes, or until topping is golden and and tester inserted into center of biscuits comes out clean. Transfer cobbler to a rack to cool slightly.

Eat, enjoy. Ahhhhhh!

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