Monday, July 2, 2012

Cherrie Delight

I simply could not resist the rare sour cherries at the farmer's market on Saturday and, having purchased two boxes, I began a search for vintage recipes (a process which involves carpeting my dining table with hundreds of recipe cards).  These tart cherries (in season for just five minutes each year) shine in baked goods; eating them out of hand, well, not so much.

Luckily, I found two intriguing recipes and so, just in time for July 4th, I present the first: Cherrie Delight.  Yes, I realize that the author, one Charlotte M. Swanson, misspelled cherry, but she typed this card way before the advent of personal computers and its wonderful sidekick, spell check.

This is an absolutely delicious dessert, though not sure if it's a cookie or a cake.  But it is, as the recipe promises, a delight.

The real work in making these is pitting the cherries, a messy task made much easier with a high quality cherry pitter. Though I typically eschew kitchen tools used only for a single esoteric purpose, I make an exception for this device.

After the batter is made, add in the good stuff -- the cherries and nuts -- with an old-fashioned wood spoon.

Pour into an 8 x 8 inch pan, which you've greased and floured.  I neglected to flour the pan and struggled to release the cake.

Bake until the top is a lovely golden color and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Here's the recipe below.  While I normally follow these recipes exactly, I did make some changes on this one.
I increased the butter to four tablespoons, as one teaspoon (a tiny amount) seemed like a typo.
I did not add the cherries until the end -- adding them before the flour would crush them, I feared.
Dissolving the baking soda in warm water was de rigueur  before modern baking soda was perfected, but I still followed the instructions here, using about 1/3 cup of water.
Add the salt with the flour.

Since I have some pitted cherries left over, I hope to make a really unusual recipe tonight, Cherry Dumplings, if (and that's a big IF), I can crack the code on the very unclear instructions, and the DH will forgive me for lighting the oven when it's 90 degrees. Stay tuned.


  1. I´m mad for sour cherries, and can´t find them easily. Good recipe! Love the Cherrie in the name!

    1. There are unfortunately very few sour cherries this year because of a crop failure in Michigan (major U.S. sour cherry producer) caused by weird spring weather sequence.

      For pitting cherries the loop end of a steel hairpin works quite well, as does the point of a small paring knife.

    2. Paula -- I've become quite addicted to these cherries, too. Just posted a recipe for cherry dumplings and I'll be posting another one (highly recommended) for cherry upside down cake. Now, I wish these were in season all year.

      Elle -- Sad about the poor crop,and thanks for the pitting advice, for I know that one day, I won't be able to find my cherry pitter ; )

  2. Our farmers' market had sour cherries very early in the year. I bought two boxes with the intent of making pie, but instead pitted and froze them for future use. This sounds like a really good use. The cherries will stay in the freezer for now, however; it's been in the 100's here!

    1. Dawn -- You'll be mighty happy for those cherries once the weather breaks, or even in the dead of winter -- what a treat! If there are any more this week, I think I'll freeze them too. Great idea.

  3. Yes, after trying to pit cherries, I, too, broke down and bought a cherry pitter tool. Don't you like how recipes put "nutmeats" instead of nuts. So you had the liberty to put whatever nut you had around! I think I will start that trend back up!!


    1. Kevel -- The cherry pitter has encouraged me to keep buying cherries as long as they're in season. What I love about it, is that one needn't really pay attention to the task -- the pitter does all the work. Never thought about nutmeats, but you're right -- just use whatever. I figure it was mostly walnuts, though.

  4. A Happy NeighborJuly 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    As a devout cherry fan, I thought this Cherry Delight was delicious!

    Your grateful neighbor.