It’s cherry season around here right now, and I got a good deal on them the other day at the produce store, since I was willing to overlook a few bruised ones. I ate a couple of the unbruised cherries, then stopped, because the inside of my mouth was beginning to feel itchy. It happens every time, so though I like cherries, I can’t really eat them raw. They have to be cooked to destroy whatever it is that causes the reaction in me.
We needed a dessert anyway, so I got to work. First, really wanting to avoid heating up the oven if I could, I added some cherries, vanilla, and sugar to a regular bread recipe I could make in the machine. This baked unevenly for some reason, but it’s fine if you don’t mind eating partly underdone, slightly purple bread.
Next I bit the bullet and turned on the oven, especially since I also had some bargain tomatoes I wanted to roast. Finding a recipe for “quick cherry crunch” in The Joy of Cooking, I decided it was a little heavy on the flour and sugar. Plus, it called for layering the batter and fruit, which I didn’t want to bother with after spending 45 minutes pitting those cherries and cutting off the bruised parts. So I invented my own cherry crunch.
- 2 cups cherries, pitted and chopped
- 2 cups quick oats
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- About ½ teaspoon salt
- Grease an 8 x 8 square pan. Mix all the ingredients (right there in the pan) and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Serve warm, with ice cream if you have it, though it’s good (and easier to divide) when it’s cold, too.
- I set the machine on rapid bake, but as I mentioned above, there were problems. Instead, you may want to use the dough cycle and do the baking in the oven. This might be nice in individual portions, and white glaze or icing would cover up the purple color.
- Unlike this bread, the cherry crunch doesn’t turn purple. One more thing to say in favor of oats. I’ll have more to say about cherries and what to do with them next week.
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- ½ cup chopped pitted cherries
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon quick yeast