June 5th, 2008
Cherry red. What do you think of? That sexy, glossy convertible, that pair of stilettos, a favorite lipstick, or your Le Creuset enameled cast iron heart-shaped pan?Of course that most evocative of color descriptions is the seductive fruit’s namesake.
Plump, juicy cherries, icy cold, are my idea of the perfect snack. Just sitting around on a hot day popping them in one by one is the start of a wonderful summer. Some friends I know will eat a big bowl of cherries for dinner.
Cherries can appear in any part of the menu, from beverages to baked goods. They can, that is, if you can keep your household from eating them out of hand before you get a chance to make anything with them!
Looking for a stunning seasonal starter? Toss the brilliant, sweet orbs into a salad of tender gourmet greens—with crumbles of soft chevre goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts or walnuts- tossed with a light vinaigrette.
Dessert ideas abound—cherries in rice pudding, in a sauce for vanilla or chocolate ice cream, or topping a creamy cheesecake. We all recognize the names of famous cherry sweets—Black Forest Cake, Cherries Jubilee, Chocolate-Covered Cherries …. And you know shortcakes aren’t just for strawberries. Fresh, pitted cherries tossed with a little sugar and kirsch liqueur make an excellent shortcake filling.
My Summer Cherry Triple Ginger Upside Down Cake will be the perfect ending to a balmy summer night’s barbecue. The method for this cake is reminiscent of French clafouti but is not difficult to make.
Have a cherrilicious summer! ©2008 Kathy Casey Food Studios®
Summer Cherry Triple-Ginger Upside Down Cake
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup packed, brown sugar
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons very finely minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup very finely minced crystallized ginger
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, and reserve.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat then stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and then immediately drizzle into the prepared pan. Use a rubber spatula to distribute sugar mixture. Place the pitted cherries evenly around on top of sugar mixture. Set aside.
To make the cake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt, and set aside. In a large mixer bowl, beat together the fresh ginger, crystallized ginger, sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well. Then add flour mixture and milk, alternately, in 2 batches, mixing at low speed after each addition until just combined. Do not over-mix.
Spoon batter evenly over cherries in the pan. Spread batter gently, being careful not to move the cherries around too much. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool the cake in the pan on a rack 15 minutes. Run a small knife around edges of pan to loosen cake. Place a large platter or serving plate over cake and invert cake onto platter. Serve warm or at room temperature with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired. ©2004 Kathy Casey Food Studios®