So it took me a few days, but I finally figured out what to make with the sour cherries from last week's CSA haul: cobbler! I suppose I could have made pie, but it's a bit hot to be making pie dough. The butter in it would probably have melted before I could get it rolled out, and who wants to eat greasy pie crust? Not this girl. But cobbler is easy to put together, especially when you use a cream biscuit topping (woohoo, no cutting in of butter, just stirring!), and hey, even if it is hot, I can survive turning the oven on for half an hour or so.
But before I got to that part, I had to pit all the cherries, and man, did that take a long time. I lack a cherry pitter, so made do with a small piping tip, which worked well, but still! It's a lengthy process. And I got cherry juice pretty much everywhere, but at least the juice was clear so didn't stain.
And here's the cherries all ready for the oven, topped with biscuits. I didn't add much flavoring to the cherries, just some sugar, a splash of almond extract, and a bit of lemon juice (plus instant Clearjel for thickening). It's really amazing how well the almond flavor goes with these cherries! And the flavor definitely is superior to anything I've ever baked with sweet Bing cherries. Very happy with how this came out, and I've got a bunch left (hiding in the freezer so I don't eat it all in one shot)...
It's been a very nice weekend! I had my first pottery class yesterday and made a fish-shaped plate and a cup. I'll have to wait a few weeks to show you the results, but hopefully they will be cool. And then today I had brunch with a friend, followed by some (unsuccessful) shopping, followed by gelato, and then a relaxed evening at home. I wish it was Sunday again tomorrow...
Sour Cherry Cobbler
1 quart sour cherries, washed, stemmed, and pitted (make sure you save the juices!)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons instant Clearjel* or cornstarch
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cream (plus an extra tablespoon or two, if needed)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Stir together the cherries, sugar (use less if you want it very tart), lemon juice, extract, and Clearjel or cornstarch in a medium bowl. Set aside while you prepare the biscuit topping.
Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar into another bowl. Stir the cream in just until the dough forms clumps. If there are still dry bits, add a bit more cream until you can gather the dough together into a ball. Pat the dough out gently to about 1/2" thick, and then cut out shapes as you like (I used hearts, but you could also just freehand it). Pat the scraps together and cut more shapes out. How many you can fit will depend on your pan dimensions, but any extras can be baked separately.
Turn the cherry filling into an 8" pan (or a pie plate, or whatever pan you have that will hold the filling with a bit of extra space--this would probably have been nice baked in individual cups as wel). Top with your biscuit cut outs. For a prettier finish, brush the biscuits with a bit of cream and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown.
This is very important--let this cool a bit. It's hotter than the sun when it first comes out of the oven, and you like the skin inside your mouth, right? Then trust me, and wait. And if you have vanilla ice cream to go with it, bonus!
*Clearjel is modified food starch. I bought mine at King Arthur Flour, but you could substitute cornstarch with no problem.