Cherries

DIY: Fresh Cherry Sauce

The first time I made it, I called it “Cheater’s Cherries Jubilee.” For a few nights more in a row than I’ll admit on the internet, I pitted ~2 dozen cherries into a small bowl, dropped a piece of orange peel in, and popped it in the microwave for 90 seconds.

I scooped the still-warm, slightly-tart cherry sauce over a bowl of vanilla ice cream and borderline inappropriately oooh’ed and aaah’ed my way through dessert.

But only borderline inappropriately.

DIY: Fresh Cherry Sauce

90 seconds. That’s all it took for a quarter-pound of fresh cherries to cook into a borderline magical dessert sauce. No butter, no booze, and most importantly: I still have both of my eyebrows.

After a couple of nights of making single-serving cherry sauce in the microwave, I buckled down and pitted an entire pound of cherries for a larger, “yogurt topping” batch.

It took two 90-second trips through the microwave with a couple of pieces of orange peel, a little cornstarch to help it “gel” just a bit more, and a few drops of liquid stevia at the end just to sweeten it enough to take the edge off my morning bowl of plain Greek yogurt. (When I make it for ice cream, I dodn’t add sweetener at all.)

DIY: Fresh Cherry Sauce

Making your own fresh cherry dessert topping couldn’t be easier. I mean, maybe it could… but I think you’ll be happier with a DIY version than opening up a jar.

And it’s applications are endless: top pancakes and waffles, scoop over ice cream, swirl into your favorite brownie batter, serve over plain cheesecake, swirl into yogurt… I could keep going. But then I’d have to make another batch.

DIY: Fresh Cherry Sauce

Fresh Cherry Sauce

Fresh cherries are turned into a decadent ice cream or yogurt topping in just 3 minutes in the microwave.

Ingredients

  • ~1 1/4 lb cherries, pitted to yield 1 lb
  • 2 1x3-inch lengths of orange peel
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • Sweetener of choice (optional; I used 4 drops liquid stevia)

Instructions

  1. Place cherries and orange peel in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle cornstarch over top.
  2. Microwave on high for 90 seconds, stir, and heat for another 90 seconds - the mixture will bubble up so don't walk away! Or better, place a paper towel under the bowl.
  3. Add any sweetener, if desired, and let cool a bit.
  4. Scoop the still-warm sauce over ice cream for Cheater Cherries Jubilee or chill completely and swirl into yogurt.
  5. Will keep at least a week in a jar in the fridge.

Notes

Yields: 2 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 10 comments }

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

Raise your hand if you have been hoarding cherries! [raises hand]

[shoves cherry in mouth, wipes fingers on jeans, raises other hand]

If you’ve ever wanted to make fresh cherry or strawberry cupcakes, you’ve probably run into similar problems: the surprising lack of recipes out there with natural ingredients and real fruit. Because if it’s anything the food industry can do, it’s really process the &^%$ out of something.

(Don’t get me started on Pistachio Muffins that contain absolutely no pistachios whatsoever.) (YOU CAN’T JUST DUMP GREEN FOOD COLORING AND ALMOND EXTRACT INTO MUFFIN BATTER AND CALL IT PISTACHIO MUFFINS.)

[takes deep breath, smooths hair]

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

There’s no reason to use Jello, extracts, and unidentifiable chunks of [fruit]-flavored not-fruit at the height of cherry season.

I took my favorite cake recipe (the 1234) and folded fresh cherry puree into the batter along with the tiniest amount of almond extract. The result was a fluffy, moist, pink cake using only real cherries and actually tasted like cherries.

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

Until I dumped a bunch of chocolate glaze on top and then it just tasted like my morning 2-mile run never happened.

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

Moist, fluffy, and pink cupcakes made with fresh cherries.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cherries, pitted
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt*
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 egg whites (can use 4 whole eggs instead but the yolks might slightly affect your color)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1-2 drops red food gel (optional)
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Glaze
  • *An equal amount of buttermilk or sour cream would also work. I no longer buy buttermilk and just substitute nonfat Greek yogurt in all recipes.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with ~30 (sorry) cupcake liners.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together for ~3 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl a couple of times.
  3. Place pitted cherries and lemon juice in the blender or food processor and process until mostly smooth.
  4. Stir the yogurt into the cherries.
  5. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
  6. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract to the butter and mix until uniform.
  7. Add half the cherry mixture to the bowl and mix, switching the speed to low and adding half the dry ingredients.
  8. Scrape down the bowl and repeat.
  9. If you want to add 1-2 drops of food coloring, here is the time to do that - you don't have to, but if you don't think your batter is pink enough, just add 1 or 2 drops (I added 1 drop of Americolor Red Red).
  10. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake ~18 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center cupcake comes out with only moist crumbs attached.
  11. Cool completely before frosting or glazing.

Notes

Yields: 30 cupcakes

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 13 comments }

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

Happy July! You know what that means? The internet will drown in red, white, and blue foods for a week and Jason will sprain his side-eye before the holiday weekend at my obnoxious, overuse of the phrase “birthday month.” But it is my birthday month.

And if you’re already tired of looking at “patriotic” food that’s “absolutely perfect” for your weekend cookout, then you’re in luck. Because food can’t be patriotic. And muffins wouldn’t be my first choice to bring to a cookout either. (What would be? Banana pudding.)

But breakfast? TOTALLY DIFFERENT STORY.

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

Fresh cherries (I think I only have 10 lbs left!), blueberries, white chocolate chips, and fragrant lemon zest are mixed up into my favorite muffin batter for one of those could-go-either-way dessert-breakfast hybrids.

The base muffin recipe has been my favorite for years. The batter bakes up into beautiful domes and the addition of nonfat Greek yogurt keeps the muffin tender, moist for days, and lower in fat.

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

So go bake these muffins and do something *truly* patriotic this weekend – like making hot dogs and setting off small explosives!

Cherry, Blueberry, and White Chocolate Muffins

A tender, moist muffin bursting with fresh cherries, blueberries, and white chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 21 muffin liners
  • 3 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped, pitted cherries (~3 dozen cherries)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition followed by the vanilla.
  5. Beat in half of dry ingredients, followed by a third of the yogurt.
  6. Add remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the yogurt, until incorporated.
  7. Toss cherries, blueberries, and white chocolate chips with the remaining 2 Tbsp flour and then add to the mixer, mixing for just a few more seconds to distribute evenly (the batter will be very, very thick).
  8. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.
  9. Divide the batter evenly among cups using a large cookie scoop (my scoop is ~2.25 inches across).
  10. Bake for 10 minutes and then decrease oven temperature to 375 and bake for ~10-12 more minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely.
  12. Will keep ~4 days in a covered cake plate, can be frozen.

Notes

Yields: ~21 muffins

Base muffin recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Estimated time: 45 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 8 comments }

Fresh Cherry Coke Float Recipe

I grew up 40 minutes north of the 4th largest city in the United States. And it might as well have been 200 miles from the nearest civilization.

Back then, it was the last-Dairy-Queen, barely-a-dot-on-the-map before you hit that stretch of 59 that turned into 2 parts speed trap, 1 part scary hillbilly cop movie, and 1 part I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The grocery stores was tiny, the WalMart was even smaller, the town shut down on Friday afternoons during football season so everyone could stand in line at the concession stand under the bleachers for Frito Pie and a coke.

Not “Coke.” But coke. You probably called it soda or pop (or paaaaahp, giggle). But here in Texas? It was all coke. Whether you ordered a coke, asked for a coke, or were offered a coke, the next question was always the same: “what kind?”

And unless you were visiting from way out of town or just really lost, your favorite coke was Dr Pepper.

Fresh Cherry Coke Float Recipe

My mom was a walking Barbara Mandrell song and always dropped a handful of peanuts in her Dr Pepper. That? I never understood. I mean, maybe. Sweet, salty. But the only thing I want to chew from my glass of Dr Pepper is ice.

During the summer, mom would pack the ice cream maker in the sink with ice and rock salt, and then after what seemed like hours of rahnr-rahnr-rahnr, it was time for the greatest summer treat next to salted watermelon.

Dr Pepper Floats.

Fresh Cherry Coke Floats

With 23 (!!!) lbs of fresh cherries in the house, we took mom’s (peanut-less) Dr Pepper floats to the next, logical level: Cherry Dr Pepper Floats. Muddled fresh cherries, a couple scoops of HEBs 1905 Vanilla Ice Cream (move over, Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla!), and not-from-Dublin real-sugar Dr Pepper.

Messy, fizzy, and creamy. And even better than I remember.

Fresh Cherry Dr Pepper Floats

What's better than a coke float? A coke float made with fresh cherries. And Dr Pepper.

Ingredients

  • 8 pitted cherries
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Dr Pepper

Instructions

  1. For each float, either muddle the cherries in the bottom of a frosty mug or pulse a few times in a blender (I vote the latter, especially if you're making more than 1).
  2. Scoop in the vanilla ice cream and then slowly (SLOWLY) stream in the Dr Pepper until full.
  3. Grab a spoon and a straw and enjoy.

Notes

Yields: 1 serving

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 5 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 8 comments }