I have many food passions, I'm the first to admit it. No wonder my doctor keeps yelling at me to lose weight (I won't explain that he's a marathon runner, that's not relevant). I have early memories of delightful foods that I have never tasted since and may never taste again but I believe those memories drive me to cook and to bake.
One such memory is that of cherries. Years ago, my mother and I had a lovely neighbor who regularly offered us free reign on her jars of cherries. I'm guessing these were sour cherries but she had preserved them in a way that made them taste like a summer day with the fresh pop when bitten, they were only slightly tangy and were not packed in a syrupy sauce... more like cherry-water. What a treat in the middle of winter!
My love of fresh cherries continues and my reddish-brown fingertips have convinced me to actually buy a cherry pitter... next year (I reserve the right to change my mind any time I'm in a kitchen-gadget store staring at a cherry pitter). For the moment, I'm cherry-stuffed. I made a super easy Bing Cherry Crumble and the only hard part was pitting the cherries with a knife... a labor of love but one that I would only do for my family, believe me.
Bing Cherry Crumble
Preheat oven to 350*
1/2 TB flour
1 TB sugar
1 TB brown sugar
Mix lightly then toss with:
1 tsp. raspberry wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Kirsch
1/2 tsp. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
1/2 pound fresh Bing cherries, pitted & halved
Place in a shallow 1 qt. baking dish, buttered or sprayed.
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup oatmeal
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Stir lightly then cut in with pastry blender:
5 TB cold butter, unsalted.
Gently fold in:
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Sprinkle topping over fruit mixture. Bake 40 - 45 minutes.
I'm also attempting my first 'canning' with cherries. We'll see how that turns out in a few weeks, if it's good, I'll post the technique I used.