Friday, June 23, 2006

Sour cherry-fruit slump

The picture accompanying this article looked so good I wanted to lick the page. I decided instead to make the recipe, and had to restrain myself from licking the hot goo out of the pan right now.
I've discovered (I think, anyway) that tart and sour cherries are the same thing. I'll be picking many, many pounds of these suckers on Sunday, and freezing them so I can eat this all year round. This time, I used canned pie cherries in water, and they worked just fine. I also used some blackberries left over from last year's picking (left them frozen and threw them in the pan) and a handful of fresh blueberries I had.
Enough talk. Cooking instructions now.

from Eating Well

3/4 cup sugar, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
4 cups fresh, frozen (thawed) or canned (drained) pitted sour cherries)
1 3/4 cups blueberries, blackberries and/or chopped (unpeeled) purple plums

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Sources)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into bits
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, plus more as needed (I used regular 2% milk, because that's what I had)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for garnish

1. To prepare fruit: Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a 9- to 10-inch non-reactive deep-sided skillet or 3-quart wide-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven . Stir in cranberry (or orange) juice and lemon zest, then the cherries and other fruit. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring. Simmer, stirring, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and add up to 2 tablespoons more sugar if desired.
2. To prepare dough: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add butter and oil. Using a pastry blender, two knives or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk, mixing with a fork just until incorporated. The dough should be very soft and slightly wet; if necessary, stir in a little more buttermilk. Let the dough stand for 3 to 4 minutes to firm up slightly.
3. To finish: Use lightly oiled soup spoons to scoop up the dough, dropping it in 8 portions onto the fruit, spacing them evenly over the surface. Return the slump to the stovetop and adjust the heat so it simmers very gently. Cover the pot tightly, and continue simmering until the dumplings are very puffy and cooked through, 17 to 20 minutes. Cut into the center dumpling with a paring knife to check for doneness. Let the slump cool on a wire rack, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dumplings. Serve warm.

Per serving: 301 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 2 g mono); 10 mg cholesterol; 56 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 295 mg sodium; 178 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv). Exchanges: 1 fruit; 2 other carbohydrates; 1 1/2 fat; 4 Carbohydrate Servings.

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