Why not turn your U-Pick cherries into shortcake or crumble with a fresh whipped topping? We even bring your own personal chef service!
By Chef Patti Anastasia
About 10 years ago I discovered one of Londonderry’s best kept secrets: there is not one, but two places where you can pick your own cherries. Yes, you can pick cherries at both Sunnycrest Farm and Elwood Orchards.
Sweet cherries have long been my favorite fruit. The weather has been great for cherry picking, I did manage to pick some. I hope you did too! The farms will have cherries through next weekend, if you miss them, be sure to buy some at your local grocery store.
Try the farm stands that are open now at both farms they may have some they picked if you do not have time to do it yourself.
Fresh cherries are delicious for just eating as is, but if you’re anything like me, you picked more than you can just eat, so here’s two ways to enjoy your bounty of cherries.
Cherry Crumble is perfect for when you want a quick and easy dessert. Hot bubbling cherries with a streusel topping. Top with vanilla ice cream and you have the perfect quick dessert.
I’ve been thinking about cherry shortcake for a few weeks. I’ve made strawberry shortcake, blueberry shortcake, and peach shortcake, but I’ve never had cherry shortcake. I became obsessed with the idea of cherry shortcake and I think I came up with a darn good cherry shortcake. It is inspired by Cherry Garcia ice cream: chocolate chip shortcake biscuits, roasted sweet cherry filling, and whipped cream!
With most cherry recipes, first you have to start by pitting your cherries. Pitting cherries can be a messy job. My advice is to wear gloves and an apron. I’ve tried a lot of different ways to pit cherries and this method that uses a chef’s knife is the easiest one that I’ve found, plus it doesn’t require any tools.
With the side of a chef’s knife, lightly press on each cherry. This splits the cherry open and then you can easily remove the pit and stem. Like this:
For the cherry shortcake, I decided to roast the cherries, once they are roasted and cooled, the pits are easy to remove. I wanted a pure cherry filling but I wanted it to be rich and thick; roasting the cherries seemed like the perfect way to get that.
Enjoy these recipes!
Sweet Cherry Crumble
I like to make this in individual pie pans or ramekins, but you can also make it in an shallow baking dish.
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
1.5 pounds sweet cherries, pitted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon almonds, toasted
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 400°.
Place your pans on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper or foil. Coat pans with cooking spray.
Combine cornstarch, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and cherries in a bowl, tossing well to coat. Pour cherry mixture into prepared pans.
Place flour, brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, put ingredients in a large bowl and a pastry blender or two knifes to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.)
Sprinkle flour mixture over cherries. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until filling is thick and bubbly and topping is browned. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
You can make the chocolate chip shortcakes and the roasted cherry filling ahead. Cool the shortcakes completely and store them in a ziptop bag or a covered container. Store the roasted cherry filling in the refrigerator.
To serve, split the shortcakes and place the two halves on a plate. Top with a few tablespoons of the roasted cherry filling. Add a dollop of whipped cream.
Chocolate Chip Shortcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup half and half
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Stir in the half and half with a fork until the mixture is moistened and begins to hold together. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead once or twice to pull it together. Pat the dough into a 1/2-3/4-inch thick disk and cut with 2-inch biscuit cutter. Knead the scraps to form another disk, to cut more cakes.
Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Makes 10 shortcakes.
Roasted cherries sound wacky, huh? But they are so easy to make and superbly delicious. Use them in this shortcake recipe or serve them over vanilla ice cream.
7 cups cherries, stemmed but not pitted
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place cherries on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 35 minutes. The cherries will soften and start to split. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside for 20-30 minutes to let the cherries cool. Once the cherries are cool, you can easily squeeze the pits from the cherries. Again, wear gloves, or your fingers will be stained. Scrape the cherry juice and the cherries from the pan into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or kirsch (cherry liquer)
Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla or kirsch; beat until cream holds peaks.
Anastasia’s Table, LLC is Personal Chef Service that does all of the menu planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up for you. You get to enjoy home cooked delicious and nutritious meals, but she does all the work for you.
Imagine coming home to a refrigerator full of home-cooked meals prepared just for you. No more grocery store lines, no more scurrying to get dinner on the table, and no more take-out! Visit our own Chef Patti at Anastasia’s Table, Southern New Hampshire’s Personal chef since 2003.