Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Buttermilk and Cherries

We are in that season where much of the fruit available in the markets are imported, except for apples and pears. Pears are often not ripe and I made apple crisp last time this friend was over for dinner, so yesterday I decided to make a dessert with things on hand. I had some buttermilk, eggs, and butter in the fridge and a jar of pitted sweet dark cherries in the pantry.

 A short amount of time on the internet led me to a lovely recipe for a moist, fluffy, tender single layer cake with cherries. Well, the recipe actually used raspberries, but I knew cherries would work well with the cake. I also used almond extract instead of vanilla because almond flavor brings out the cherry flavor so well and these were not fresh fruit, so could use that bit of help. Otherwise I mostly followed the recipe and we enjoyed the cake after dinner. It was not too much, and not too little...just right.

Cherry Buttermilk Cake
based on Raspberry Buttermilk Cake in
Gourmet, June 2009, by Melissa Roberts

Simple, tender buttermilk cake topped with a nice, sugary crunch and enriched with cherries

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup pitted cherries (I used some that had been canned in a jar and drained off the juice used to pack them, but fresh cherries would be even better), drained
1 tablespoon soft butter and 3 tablespoons sugar for the pan
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, preferably sanding sugar, for the topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, with rack in the middle. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan, then coat with the sugar, shaking out any excess into the sink. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom.
Beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in the almond extract. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, beat in 1/2 of the flour mixture, the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mixture, beating only until combined each time.

Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing top. Scatter the drained cherries evenly over the top. Sprinkle top with the sanding sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then run a knife blade around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake and turn it out onto a rack. Invert onto a serving plate and let cool 10 - 15 minutes more. Cherries will have sunk to the bottom of the cake, and the top will be crunchy with sugar.

Serves 8

1 comment :

  1. Looks a lovely light texture. Cherries look delicious too.