Sour Cherry Filling

The one pie, tart, cake, or turnover filling I love best is Sour Cherry. Its one of those flavours we rarely has as a kid.

I had some sour cherries in the deep freeze that I needed to use so I decided to try my hand at a sour cherry filling.

After reading some old recipes I came up with what I though would be a great filling.

Sour Cherry Filling

For this recipe I used:

2 Pounds of carefully pitted Sour Cherries
2 Pounds of Sugar
6 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

I added everything to a big heavy bottomed pot and mixed well.

Sour Cherry Filling – Ready to Boil

On medium high heat I let the mixture boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching.

Sour Cherry Filling – Boiling Away

Once it was boiled I poured the mixture into a medium bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Then it was off to the fridge to let it fully cool to use later.

Sour Cherry Filling – Chilling

Baker’s Notes:

  • enjoy!

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Secretary’s Day 2013

For Secretary’s Day I was asked to make a cake for the office.The ultimate request was for a Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake. This recipe was lurking in my edition of “Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook” – a Christmas gift in 2005. By all accounts the cake was a hit this morning.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake

For this recipe I used:

1 Stick (4 oz.) of Unsalted-Butter
2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1 Cup of Sour Cream*
1 Cup of Frozen Sour Cherries* – thawed and drained

Streusel Topping:
9 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 1/2 Oz. Unsalted Butter
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

Milk Glaze*:
1 Cup of Confectioners Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Milk
See bakers notes

I started by gathering the ingredients, buttering a tube pan, and pre-heating the oven to 350˚.

Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Ingredients

I an a bowl I sifted the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt together and set it aside.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Sifting the Flour

Next I made the streusel by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and used a pastry blender to mix well. I stored the bowl in the fridge until it was needed.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Streusel Topping
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Streusel Topping

In a large bowl I mixed the butter, sugar, and eggs together until smooth. This will take up to 5 minutes – longer if the butter is on the cool side. I then mixed in the vanilla extract*. See bakers notes for the vanilla.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Blending the Butter, Sugar, & Eggs
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Adding the Vanilla

I then mixed the flour and sour cream in an alternating sequence. 3 flour additions and 2 sour cream additions. Starting and ending with the sour cream.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Adding 1/3 of the Flour Mixture
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Adding 1/2 of the Sour Cream
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Adding the second 1/3 of the Flour Mixture
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Adding the rest of the Sour Cream
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Adding the rest of the Flour Mixture
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake — Just barely mixed

After the batter was barely mixed I finished mixing everything in with a spatula.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Finished mixing by hand

I added 1/2 of the batter to the tube pan and smoothed it out. I then added the sour cherries evenly spread out. The picture in the book looked like it had more cherries.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Adding the Sour Cherries

I topped the cherries with the rest of the batter and smoothed everything out again.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Adding the rest of the Batter

I added the streusel to the top of the cake the put the pan in the oven.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Topped with Streusel

I baked the cake for 40 minutes then check it. It needed another 5 minutes.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Just out of the oven

I removed the cake form the oven and let it sit on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. I used a small pallet knife to loosen the cake from the pan then flipped it our on the cooling rack.  I then flipped the cake again, so the streusel top was upright, then let the cake cool for 2 hours.

Once the cake was cool I mixed the milk glaze. I drizzled the glaze on the cake and let it dry.

Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Milk Glaze Ingredients
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Mixing the Milk Glaze
Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake – Topped with the Milk Glaze

“*” Bakers Notes:

  • I think 1-1/2 cups of sour cherries would work. Any more and the cake will be too soggy.
  • I mixed the vanilla in at this time. The recipe said to mix it in with the butter eggs and vanilla.
  • The recipe for this cake can also be found here.

Sadly I did not get a full taste of the cake. I was told it was great. I did taste some crumbs of cake that were stuck on the centre tube of the pan – where I had not buttered enough. Any reason to make another!

Individual Sour Cherry Pies

As summer is rapidly coming to a close a little voice keeps reminding me to use the sour cherries I froze last year. Eek… They need to be used soon.This summer I have made sour cherry crisp 3 times, a sour cherry cake that was kind of a flop, 2 carrot cakes, a chocolate hazelnut brioche loaf, a rainbow cake, a pecan tart,  and a couple of sour cherry cakes with streusel topping. I needed to try something new.

I came across a recipe for individual sour cherry pies. I had sour cherries and I had some individual tart/pie pans I brought from Germany a couple of years ago. So it was time to inaugurate the pans!
For the pastry I was inspired by both Martha Stewart and America’s Test Kitchen. Thank you both.

This recipe called for:

2 1/2 Cups of all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Whey Low sugar substitute
2 Sticks (1/2 pound) of cold butter – in pieces
1/4 cup plain Vodka
1/4 cup cold Water

4 Cups of Frozen Sour Cherries (1 1/3 Pounds)
1 Cup of Whey Low sugar substitute
2 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
Juice and Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons Skim Milk (or regular milk or cream)

Individual Sour Cherry Pie

See all the details after the jump:
For the pastry I measured out the vodka & water and set them aside. I then measured out the flour, salt, and Whey Low into a medium mixing bowl. I cut up the butter into small pieces. Then used a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until there were small piece of butter coated in the flour. I then added the vodka mixture and mixed with a fork until it came together.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Flour, Salt & Whey Low
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Butter
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Cutting in the Butter
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Water & Vodka
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Bringing the Dough Together

I emptied the mixture on the counter and formed a ball. I cut the ball in half and wrapped each half in plastic and refrigerated them for an hour. I think this pastry is at it’s best when left overnight.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – A Final Quick Knead
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Cutting the Dough in Half
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Dough Wrapped and Ready for the Freezer

While the pastry was chilling I ensured the sour cherries were pit free by cutting each partially frozen cherry in half. Once I was sure all pits were removed I placed the cherries, Whey Low, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest into a medium bowl and mixed them well. I placed the bowl in the fridge while I rolled out the pastry.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Filling Ingredients
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Zesting and Juicing the Lemon
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Adding the Filling Ingredients to a Bowl
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Mixed Filling

I rolled out the pastry according to the directions and cut it into 6 pieces. I then fit the pieces in the pans. I did have to piece the pastry together to get everything to fit correctly. In the future I would split the dough into 6 pieces and rolled each one out individually. In the end everything looked fine.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Dividing the Dough for the Bases
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Fitting the Dough to the Pan
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Final Adjustments

I split the filling between the 6 pans then rolled out the other ball of pastry. I cut 6 pieces and them fit them to the top each pan.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Filling the individual Pies

I mixed the egg and cream together in a small bowl then brushed the top of each pie. The pies went onto a lined baking sheet. Then I cut a vent hole in each pie and let them rest in the fridge until the oven heated to 450. I should have cut the vent in the pies just before they went into the oven.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Ready for the Oven

When the oven reached temperature I took the pies out of the fridge and brushed them again with the egg wash and popped them in the oven for 40 minutes.

When the pies came out of the oven I let them cool on their sheet on a rack for 30 minutes. After removing the pans I let everything cool for another hour or so.

Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Just out of the Oven
Individual Sour Cherry Pie – Final Cooling

Turned out awesomely! If I do say so myself.

Cooks Notes:

  • this might be the place to use a shortening or butter/shortening crust as the pans are small and the pastry would be in smaller pieces
  • I would make 25% more filling to ensure the individual pies are crammed full of flavour!
  • I have come up with my version of pie dough it can be found here

Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp

Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp

Turns out that I am moving in just a few weeks. With that in mind the chest freezer has to be emptied in order to defrost it and to be ready for the move.

Stored safely at the bottom of my freezer are several pounds of sour cherries that I purchased and pitted last summer.  Carefully holding for special occasions!

This evening we are invited to a friends place for dinner and we did insist that we bring dessert. So sour cherries are the choice. Yes! 2 more pounds removed from the freezer!

3 Years ago I discovered a recipe by Martha Stewart and I have jumped off from there.

For tonight’s Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp I used:

2 Pounds Frozen Pitted Sour Cherries
1/2 Cup Chopped Pistachios
1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons of All Purpose flour
1/3 Cup Large Flake Oats
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
3 Tablespoons Whey Low Gold Sugar
3/4 Cup Whey Low Granular Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
Pinch of Ground Cinnamon

Other Special Equipment:
Disposable 8″ Foil Pan with lid – to leave behind.

Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – Ingredients

My attempt after the jump…

Last year I did buy a high speed cherry pitter in Europe in hopes of processing a bunch cherries during the short season. While the machine seemed to work well, the result was 10 – 12 cherries per pound still having their pits. I did not discover this until after the cherries were frozen and I used some. Not great for guests! As a result when using my pre-pitted frozen sour cherries I do have to inspect each one for errant pits.

Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – Cherry Pitter

After the cherry inspection it was time to start the crisp topping. Taking the pistachios, flour, oats, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and mixing well.

Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – The 9 Pits I found in 2 Pounds

Combine the melted butter ,Whey Low Brown Sugar, 1/4 cup of whey low sugar until well combined. Add the dry topping mixture to the butter mixture and stir with your fingers until it just comes together in small pea sized bits.

Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – Sugar and Butter
Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – Flour Mixture
Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – Flour and Butter Mixtures

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In another medium bowl mix the cherries (pre-checked for pits),  cinnamon, and the remaining 1/2 cup of Whey Low Granulated sugar and a pinch of salt.

Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – Filling

Pour this mixture into the 8 x 8 pan and top the cherries with the crumble topping.

Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – Topping
Sour Cherry Pistachio Crisp – Ready for the Oven

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until brown and bubbly. (55 minutes today).

Let cool on a rack for at least an Hour. Warm slightly when ready to serve. Enjoy! Oooh… Ice cream helps!

20:53 Update… It was a hit!

Sour Cherry Crumb Coffee Cake

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake

Yesterday we had a friend stop over for coffee in the afternoon. Luckily for him, he gave us a couple of hour notice. So a coffee cake was born.

I was inspired by a Martha Stewart Blueberry Coffee to come up with this one. Plus I was able to use a pound of frozen sour cherries from last summer.

As the super amazing cherry pitter I bought last summer in Cologne is not quite get all of the pits out I did have to break open each frozen cherry to ensure all of the pits were removed. My better option for a cherry pitter is here.

For this recipe I used:
2 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Cardamom
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
10 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Whey Low Granulated Sugar Substitute
3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Greek Style Yogurt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Pound Pitted Sour Cherries
1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

It was a good one…although I would use cake flour for the cake next time.
I heated the oven to 350 degrees and lined an 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper.

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – Lined Pan

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt and set aside.

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – The Dry Ingredients

In the mixer, I creamed the butter and the Whey Low sugar for 3 or 4 minutes. Then added the eggs one at at time followed by the vanilla.

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – Creaming the  Butter and Whey Low
Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – Creamed until Light and Fluffy

I mixed in the sour cream and yogurt until well combined.

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake -Adding Sour Cream and Yogurt

Then I added the flour mixture until just about mixed. I removed the bowl from the mixer and finished by hand. The mixture is quite stiff.

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake -Adding the Flour Mixture

I then out the mix into the lined pan and spread it out into the corners followed by putting the cherries on top in an even layer.

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – Adding the Sour Cherries
Sour Cherry Coffee Cake -All of the Sour Cherries

After blending the crumb topping ingredients with my hands I topped the cake.

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – Crumb Topping

The off to the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes (your mileage may vary).

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – In the Oven

It cooled on a rack for 10 minutes until I turned it out to fully cooled.

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – Cooling
Sour Cherry Coffee Cake – Ready to Eat

As our guest arrived a little earlier than planned. I did cut the cake in quarters while it was really hot and then cut it into 4 pieces again and let it cool 10 more minutes. Still warm is was great. Letting it sit for a day it will be even better!

Makes 1 big piece or 16 smaller ones. 🙂

Cherry Chews

This is one of my favorites. Cherry chews are actually a square and not a cookie but I think the maraschino cherries make it kind of festive. Use both red and green if you want. These are great all year round too!

The recipe comes from a 1950’s cookbook. I think only a few pages remain which include this recipe and the previously published shortbread.

Cherry Chews

More after the jump…….
I made two batches using:
For the base:
2 Cup of Flour
2 Cup of Large Flake Rolled Oats
2 Cup of Brown Sugar
2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 Cup of Butter
1/2 teaspoon of Salt

For the filling:
8 Eggs – Lightly Beaten
4 Cups of Light Brown Sugar
2  teaspoons of Almond Extract
8 Tablespoons of Flour
2 teaspoons of Salt
2 Cups of Shredded Sweetened Coconut
6 Cups of haled Maraschino Cherries
4 Cups of Pecan Halves

Base: Mix ingredients together
Base: Press mixture into a 1/2 sheet pan and bake
Filling: Cut the Maraschino Cherries
Filling: Mix all of the ingredients together then add cherries and pecans
Spread filling over cooked base then bake!

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies – Completed

One of those recipes I made earlier to bake off just before Christmas. These cookies are truly great all year round but none of my friends usually have the chance to try them so including them at Christmas time allows me to share! The sour cherries, chocolate, and toffee bits make these cookies the perfect coffee break addition!One change I will make is to use milk chocolate rather than bitter sweet. Just a preference.

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

More pictures after the jump…..

Cutting the right size!
Prepared for their 12 minutes of glory.
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

In prep for my time away I have mixed and frozen the 3 batches of Oatmeal Toffee Cookies. This recipe has been liberated from another widely distributed source and is always a favorite year round. My one change from the original recipe is to be sure to cut the dried sour cherries in half before mixing them in.

For some reason SKOR toffee bits were a little challenging to find this year. My regular shopping places just were not carrying them. I did finally source them at the local Independent Grocery.

3 Batches of Oatmeal Toffee Cookies had:
4.5 Cups of Flour
3 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
3 Cups of Unsalted Butter
2 1/4 Cups of Sugar
2 1/4 Cups of Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
3 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
4 1/2 Cups of Large Flake Oatmeal
3 Cups of Dried Sour Cherries
3 Cups of Bittersweet Chocolate
3 Cups of Toffee Pieces

Dough resting comfortably in the freezer for later baking……. More after the jump

The clean up
Everything gathered
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies Mixed and separated.

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