Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sour Cherry Crumb Cake - How to Pit Sour Cherries

Through a local Philadelphia farm, I have been receiving fresh produce twice a month (I'm sharing with a work colleague)! I thought it would be a great thing to do- not only does it make me go somewhere else to pick up the food, but I'm supporting local farms and eating organic and fresh produce. I also thought that this would help introduce Steve and I to other veggies we wouldn't normally pick up at the grocery store. Two weeks ago, we received beets: I've never liked beets, but after I thought about it, I guess I never really gave them a try. Well, I oven roasted the beets, cooled them, and tossed them in a salad with beet greens, oranges and basalmic. The salad was nice, but I really did not care for the beets. At least I tried and this reaffirmed that I can always pass on the beets at dinner parties.

Last week, we received sour cherries in our produce share. I was excited because cherries are my favorite fruit and they are super expensive this season so paying out of pocket was out of the question. I guess I overlooked the name of the fruit.. SOUR cherries. Not good for simply eating. So, to the internet of recipes I started to look. I came across a Martha Stewart recipe for a Sour Cherry Crumb Cake and I stuck with it. Like I always say, her recipes come out perfectly and are always something I would bake again.

Then I realized that the cherries have pits- how do I pit cherries? or can I leave the pits in and work around that when I eat the dessert? I googled how to pit a cherry- most said to use a pitter, or some sort of small metal hook to get them out. Using what I have in the house, I got the hang of pitting a cherry after the second or third try. Here's how I did it:

Tools: toothpicks, two bowls

1. Have two bowls ready: one for your pitted cherries, and one to save the pits (I found another simple recipe to recycle the pits).

2. Take the stem off the cherry

3. Inset tooth pick where you removed the stem- feel the toothpick hit the pit and move the toothpick around the sides of the pit like you're setting it free for the rest of the cherry.

4. Gently squeeze the cherry and the pit should pop out! I did this over the sink and put my bowl in the sink to catch the pits which I was saving for later. If the pit doesn't pop out, use the toothpick to sort of pry it out.

5. Make sure you have a lot of time saved to pit your cherries- I had enough time while pitting to listen to a whole record, make a soy latte, and take a few breaks.

Ways I adjusted or changed the recipe:
1. The recipe requires a 9"x9" cake pan, but I had to use a 9"x13" because that's all I have! But not for long - woohoo wedding registries!
2. There is no baking time for this recipe: just bake until golden and a tester comes out clean. I don't work well with those sorts of recipes because I will either a. check the cake too much thus the temperature of the oven is never consistant or b. forget about the cake and wander to a different project until I run into the kitchen screaming when the cake is almost in flames. To avoid either of these, I set an initial time for 30 minutes, and then kept adding time after that as I saw necessary. The cake ended up baking for 50 minutes. This time might change for you if you use a 9"x9" pan, or a darker colored pan.

Here are the layers of the cake, pre-assembly: a floured cake dish, the cake dough, pitted sour cherries, and the crumble topping.

and of course, a photo of the first slice! The only time I will eat dessert before dinner :)

It turned out really well! The cherries are still tart, but not mouth puckering. The super sweet crumble is a great juxtaposition and fits well with the moist cake. Mmmm, seconds please!

***Note: Sour cherries have a short season - only a bit of June and a bit of July. So if you can find them, pick them up and try a new recipe with them! Or make preserves to have in the wintertime!***


Anonymous said...

Looks very tasty, big fan of fruity crumbles.
And what a fantastic tea spoon! :)

You have a great blog thank for the interesting posts.

alessandra said...

Hi Isobel- thanks so much for checking out my blog and commenting. You have some lovely yummy treats on your blog - I can't wait to read through and try some snacks. Cheers!