Sunday, June 13, 2010
Over the weekend we were visiting Mesa and we went to Superstition Ranch Market which is a rundown looking greengrocer with big poster board signs out front advertising the current specials. My sister had called before we left to let us know that they were selling strawberries 4lbs/$1 (yes, you read that right, $0.25/lb for strawberries) so we made sure to bring a cooler. When we went we found that not only were strawberries crazy cheap, but the blackberries, cherries and sweet corn were also amazing and well priced. We managed to fill the cooler for about $10, though we did spend a bit more on the candy they had next to the checkout as we were waiting in line. This meant that when we got home we had a ton of produce that needed to be taken care of in one way or another. The sweet corn was used to make cream-style corn and the berries are destined to become jam in the next couple hours, but that left the cherries. Originally I was planning on making pie, but with that much other fruit to deal with I started running out of steam after pitting 6 cups of cherries. The solution is cobbler. I used the recipe 1969 edition of the Betty Crocker's Cookbook. Since this only uses 4 cups of cherries I will be making the remaining cherries into baby food that can be mixed with oatmeal and probably other stuff to make a happy baby. Here is the recipe:
4 c. fresh cherries, pitted
3 tbs. corn starch (or tapioca flour)
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbs. shortening
1/2 c. milk
Preheat oven to 400. Put cherries, corn starch, sugar and almond extract in a pan and stir it over medium heat until it is hot and bubbly. At first it will be a pretty dry, but as the sugar melts and the heat makes the cherries release their juices it will start working better and you will get a nice syrup. Once the cherries are hot and bubbly pour them into an 8x8 oven-safe dish. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl with a fork. Cut in the shortening. You can either use a pastry blender, or just use the fork to smash everything until it is well blended. It won't be quite as nice, but it will work well enough and mean one less thing to wash. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk. Use the fork to mix it all together to form a stiff dough. Drop bits of the dough onto the hot cherry mixture at regular intervals. Bake for 23-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Pull it out and let it cool 15-20 minutes (or eat it sooner, but you may burn your mouth rather badly). Serve with ice cream for an added treat.
Note: If you are avoiding corn you can substitute tapioca flour 1:1 for the corn starch and use 2t cream of tartar and 1t baking soda in place of the baking powder and this will turn out just as tasty.
ETA: I have posted this recipe to Tasty Tuesday at the blog Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. Check her out, there are some great recipes over there.