Organic Bing cherries from Morton's Orchards.
Always seems like a fantastical piece of kitchen magic.
The hardest part, really, is pitting the cherries. I borrowed Heather's cherry stoner (Duuuude! These cherries are like, so juicy!) and set to work. I was soon after stained in cherry blood in speckles all down my shirt, shorts, legs and feet. My hands still haven't recovered.
It takes a fair amount of time to pit 6 pounds of cherries (I made two cobblers: one for us and one for Heather.), but not a lot of effort, per se. In the end, though, it's all worth it. Add a liberal dollop of vanilla ice cream and you have a seasonal treat worth waiting for.
Again, all of this took place while the twins were napping. Hooray for naps!
Bing Cherry Cobbler
From Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking, p. 197.
5 cups (2 lb) pitted fresh Bing cherries (about 3 lb unpitted)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp sugar (You can probably get away with less, depending on how sweet your cherries are.)
2/3 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c AP flour
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp sugar (I used Turbinado sugar for extra crunch) mixed with 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Stir together cherries, lemon juice and sugar until well mixed in a 9" glass or ceramic baking dish with sides at least 2 3/4 inches high. Bake the fruit for 10 minutes while you prepare the topping.
- In your measuring cup, stir together buttermilk and vanilla and set aside.
- Combine dry ingredients in bowl of mixer.
- Add butter pieces and using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until large, coarse crumbs the size of small peas form, about 30 seconds.
- Slowly pour in buttermilk mixture and continue to mix just until combined and a soft, sticky, evenly moistened dough forms.
- Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the hot fruit (This is actually a key step, since the heat of the fruit helps to cook the underside of the dough. Otherwise, you'd get dough cooked on top and gummy underneath. Bleah!). The topping will spread during baking to cover the entire surface. Sprinkle dough with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake the cobbler until the fruit filling is bubbling, the topping is browned, and a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Logan, as usual, goes nuts when you offer him sliced fresh cherries. He does his funny little hoot/grunt/lip smacking. Emma actually manages to gnaw the cherry meat off and spits out the skin. I'm not exactly sure how, but the magic of gumming your food is involved somehow.
OK, maybe you didn't need that last visual before preparing to make this cobbler....
BTW, this also works fantastically well for any other fruit cobbler you'd like to throw together: peach, blueberry, berries, rhubarb, apples, pears or whatever floats your boat.