Sometimes I just feel so blessed to live where we live! Sure, once in a while I get homesick and think about moving back to Massachusetts, or feel like exploring a completely new area of the country. But by and large, my adopted home of the Hudson Valley suits me very well. One of the things I like best is all the pick-your-own farms. A favorite is Fraleigh’s Rose Hill Farm just a few minutes away in Red Hook. Yesterday we took advantage of some free time to head over and pick a real summertime treat: sour cherries.
Contrary to the name, I don’t find sour cherries to really be all that sour. But certainly they are not as cloying as the sweet cherries. They are also infinitely easier to pit, which makes them my preferred cherry for baking, jam, canning, and so forth. The kids were begging me to bake a cherry pie, but I didn’t have all the ingredients for the crust so we went with a cobbler instead.
I was very excited to use my Lodge cast iron skillet for something besides steak!
- 4 cups pitted sour cherries
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 c. boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine cherries, cornstarch, 2/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside and let everything come together.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a second bowl, adding the butter pieces last. Using a pastry tool or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients, cutting in the butter until crumbly. Carefully add the boiling water, a little bit at a time, and stir until the mixture forms a soft dough.
- Add the cherry mixture to a cold cast iron skillet and gently bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and drop spoonfuls of the biscuit mixture on top of the cherries. If desired, sprinkle extra sugar on top of the biscuits. Bake for 45 minutes until the biscuits turn golden.
- * You can probably use regular old AP flour -- I just prefer the unbleached flour and that's what I had.
- * You are probably supposed to use unsalted butter for this. I didn't have it and used regular butter. Tasted a-okay to me!