Posts Tagged 'roasted cherries'

ka-boom!

Fourth of July for me means two things. Sugar snap peas and tart cherries. Which is why I always resist traveling on this particular holiday. I swear the snap peas time it so their sugar content is the absolute sweetest four days into July. And after all they’ve been through, it’s just not right to let the peas down by not being available to pick them. Only recently have I been able to honor this commitment.

tart cherries
And so it was that I spent my fourth ever Independence Day at home, gorging on peas and cherries. To each their own, right? My holiday was particularly lovely this year because I had Earl to keep me company. He’s as about as quiet and reserved as I am. We’re a good match that way.

At four o’clock, I cracked a bottle of French rose and retired to the shade of the patio with Earl, a book, and a basket of peas. I should mention that Earl was looking particularly festive, sporting his new red-starred-spangled neck buff. My friend Julie surprised Earl with this chic gift when she came to dinner a few weeks ago.

star spangled earl
I wiled away the late afternoon, indulged in my book, but still managing to keep my glass full and slip Earl an occasional pea pod. Before I knew it, afternoon turned into evening and I realized I had no plans for what to have for dinner. Until I remembered the dish of roasted tart cherries in the fridge.

I had made them the other night, on a whim, when I had the oven on for something else. Fresh cherries, honey, vanilla, and a splash of wine, simply roasted until they are soft and bubbly. This is actually a riff on one of my favorite ways to eat spring rhubarb – a recipe courtesy of The Canal House. So with rhubarb on the way out and tart cherries moving in, I thought I’d swap them in. Ka-boom! An explosion as good as any fireworks display.
roasted cherries
The preparation is ridiculously simple and it’s one of those where the complexity of each flavor really shines through. The roasted fruit is perfect eaten plain by the spoonful right out of the pan (my usual approach), and great spooned over ice cream or plain yogurt – which made for a refreshing, low-key Independence Day dinner.
This was my first Fourth of July with Earl, but I suspected many months ago that he might not appreciate fireworks. My hunch was undeniably confirmed. But we settled in together and made the best of it. Luckily we discovered his buff can provide ear protection as well.
earl hates ka-boooms!

Roasted Tart Cherries

1/2 pound tart cherries, pitted
2-3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons wine (rose is a lovely match, but white or red works too)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 small vanilla bean, split
1-2 teaspoons cornstarch or tapioca flour (optional)

Mix together in a small oven proof roasting pan. Bake in a 350º F oven for 30 – 50 minutes until fruit is soft and bubbly. Depending on how juicy your cherries are, and considering if you want a thinner or thicker consistency, you may want to add cornstarch or tapioca to thicken it up. This can be done before it goes in the oven, or at any point during baking. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature, depending on your mood and the weather. This makes enough for two nice servings. Double, triple, or quadruple as needed!

Earl



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