Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Frugal Cherries!

Cherries are only frugal in the Summer, so at other times of the year, these recipes would be pretty expensive! I buy my cherries from sams club for about $2.30 a pound and they are totally worth it! Cherries are not only delicious, they are versatile. The only drawback is you have to pit them, but that can easily be accomplished with an inexpensive cherry pitter. Here are some of my favorite cherry based recipes.

Cherry Focaccia
3/4C plus 2Tbsp warm water
2 1/4tsp yeast
2 1/4C unbleached flour
1/4C brown sugar
1 1/4tsp salt
3/4C dried cherries
1C fresh cherries, rinsed, pitted and halved
1Tbsp sugar
Place the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Add the flour, 1/4C sugar, salt and dried cherries. Knead on medium speed with the dough hook for about 7 minutes. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow to sit for 2-3 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a 10x10 rectangle. Transfer the rolled dough to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a dry towel and let sit for about 45 minutes.
preheat oven to 400 degrees
Gently dimple the top of the dough with your fingertips. Place the cherry halves on top of the dough, pressing them in slightly. Sprinkle the 1Tbsp of sugar over the dough. Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes.

Cherry Tart
(For the tart dough)
12Tbsp softened butter
1C powdered sugar
1/2C almonds, finely ground in a food processor
1 egg at room temperature
1/2tsp vanilla extract
2C unbleached flour
1/4tsp salt
Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Add the almonds, egg and vanilla and then the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
(For the cherry filling)
1 pound fresh cherries, rinsed and pitted
2/3C heavy cream
1/3C sugar
2 eggs
1/3C sliced almonds, toasted
Heat the oven to 400 degrees
Remove one disk of dough from the fridge and roll out into a round 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9 inch tart pan that is at least 1 inch deep and has a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan.Remove excess dough and discard or save for cookies. Put the pan on a baking sheet and line the dough with parchment. Fill the parchment lined dough with dry rice or beans and bake it until the sides are set, 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove the rice or beans and the parchment and return the pan to the oven. Bake another 7 minutes, or until the bottom is set and lightly browned.
Spread the cherries over the bottom crust in a single layer. Whisk together the cream, eggs and sugar and carefully pour the mixture over the cherries. You may have a little extra. Sprinkle the almonds on top and bake until the top is brown and the cherries are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let the tart cool until it can be removed from the pan.

Cherry smoothie
1C orange juice
1C soy milk, almond milk or cows milk
1C pineapple
1C cherries
1-2 frozen bananas
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. My 3 year old calls this her "Red shake".:P

Poached cherries
1 3/4C water
2/3C sugar
3 strips lemon zest
3 strips orange zest
1/4 vanilla bean, split, or 1tsp vanilla extract
15 peppercorns
1 pound cherries, rinsed and pitted
In a saucepan, bring the water, sugar, lemon and orange zest, peppercorns and vanilla to a boil. Add the cherries and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming off any foam. Let cool and then refrigerate. Strain off cooking liquid before serving.

Cherry mousse
1 pound cherries, rinsed and pitted
3Tbsp powdered sugar
2C heavy cream, preferably not ultra-pasteurized
Combine cherries and 1Tbsp sugar in a food processor and puree. Whip the cream with the remaining sugar until medium peaks form. Fold in the cherry puree. For a fun dessert, layer this mousse with the poached cherries in clear wine glasses for a stunning effect!


Mary said...

These cherry recipes sound wonderful! Does it matter what kind of cherries you buy?

Frugal Liz said...

I guess the only kind you'd want to avoid for these recipes are sour cherries!