Showing posts with label cherry pie filling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cherry pie filling. Show all posts

Monday, July 29, 2013

Playing with Cherries

How many times have you eaten a fruit pie and thought you could just eat the yummy filling? My family and friends are always in various states of dieting or foresworn foods, and I've noticed that the pie shell is often neglected and left in tattered bits on the plate. So when I saw a deconstructed peach pie, it got me thinking.


I had never heard of a deconstructed recipe before I started watching cooking competition shows. One of their favorite games is to hand the contestants the ingredients for a dish, say lasagna, or meatloaf, and ask them to deconstruct it and make something else out of the ingredients. You can imagine that it's sometimes very challenging.


In the deconstructed pie recipe, they cooked the peach pie filling on the stove in a pot. That's easy! But then they cut circles out of the pie dough, sprinkled them with sugar and baked them. Eh. I can think of more exciting things than pie dough.




So I pulled out frozen puff pastry. I read a recipe not too long ago in which the baker went to all the trouble of making her own puff pastry but then filled it with canned pie filling. She did the hard part, but said she couldn't find a recipe for cherry pie filling. Here it comes. So easy.



I did two things with my cherry pie filling. First, I used some to make turnovers. Except I made cute little packets instead, which I think are prettier than the typical triangular turnover. And then, I made the deconstructed version of the cherry turnover. The cooked cherry pie filling went into cute little ramekins, and I baked puff pastry (cut with cookie cutters) to decorate them.




If you're feeding kids, you could even use these cute little disposable shaped bakers that I found, No clean-up! If you don't have time for puff pastry (even ready made) stick a graham cracker or a favorite cookie in the ramekin. It would be just as cute. It's sort of like eating a fruity pudding. Warning though: if you hate tapioca, you will not like this.



If you bake your own little puff pastry shapes, be sure to brush them with a beaten egg and sprinkle sugar on top. Or use the icing below to decorate them and add a little zest.



Please note that I made these with sweet Bing cherries. If you are lucky enough to find sour cherries, you will want to increase the sugar substantially. The only trick here is to not burn the cherries. They are loaded with juices but it doesn't come out until they begin to cook. Keep an eye on them especially in the beginning. If you plan to serve them warm, eat plain or with ice cream. The icing will run off if they have not cooled.


Cherry Pie or Turnover Filling


4 cups of cherries
2 2/3 tablespoons tapioca
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg, beaten

Place all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan. Heat initially over medium high, watching to be sure they don't burn and stirring occasionally. Once the juices begin to release, cover, turn heat to low and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For square turnovers:

Cut a sheet of puff pastry into quarters. Place about 4 cooked cherries in the middle (about two tablespoons). Bring opposite corners to the top and press together well. Bring the remaining corners to the top and press together well. Brush with beaten egg. Bake 20 minutes or as instructed on the pastry package.

Icing:

powdered sugar
lemon

Place 1/4 cup powdered sugar into a small bowl. Stir in drops of lemon until it reaches a nice drizzle consistency. Too runny? Just add more powdered sugar.


You can even dip the wings into the icing!



 


Monday, March 5, 2012

Cherry Cravings

It all began when I saw a blog about making your own cherry pie filling.  So easy!  But the writer went a step further.  She had some cherry pie filling left over and used it on waffles!  Oh my!  I couldn't get that picture out of my head.  I wanted cherry pie filling.  Do you ever get cravings for something?

Fortunately, we have plenty of cherries in the freezer and it's time to use them up.  So I thought about what I could make that would involve cherry pie filling that wasn't a pie or a cobbler.

Of course -- cake.  But wouldn't it be better if the cake were chocolate?  Anyone drooling yet?

Let's be honest, this cake can stand alone.  It doesn't need cherries to dress it up.  You could frost it with your favorite icing (maybe Sheila's cream cheese and maple icing?), sprinkle with powdered sugar, or eat it plain. 


This is a dump cake.  No fancy steps required.  The perfect cake for those times when the phone rings and someone says "we're about two hours away -- do you feel like company?"  Ack! You just dump the ingredients into a mixer, mix, and bake.  Also excellent for midnight madness, when you need something yummy -- fast!

One of these days I'm going to try this as an all chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting.  I bet it's perfect for that.


Chocolate Cake

1 9x9 square baking pan

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat over to 350.  Lightly grease the pan.

Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix.  Pour the balsamic vinegar into the milk and stir (it will make some globs, which is what it's supposed to do).  Place the coffee in the hot water and dissolve.  Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix.  It will be quite thin.

Pour into pan and bake 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

After being refrigerated overnight.  Yes, a little mouse nibbled at that back corner.  


CHERRY TOPPING (optional)

27 ounces frozen Bing cherries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water

Pour cherries and sugar into a saucepan.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and add to pan.  Bring to a boil and gently boil, while stirring, for two minutes.  Cool very briefly.  Pour over top of cake.  When cool enough, refrigerate overnight or until the cherries are set.