Summer Cherry Crisp

 

You may have noticed it has been little a little quieter around here. I may do a few posts, then you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks. It is not that I don’t have recipes to share and things to babble about, its just that the words just won’t come out.

You see, I have been dealing with chronic migraines for almost a year now. They have been getting progressively worse, and one of the most interesting symptoms is a loss of cognitive function in the communication area of my brain. I have trouble finding the right words, saying the right words, and of course, writing.

I was in the Apple store the other day, talking to a tech about my computer and whether it still had Apple Care coverage. I kept calling it apple core. I could not for the life of me say apple care! It was hilarious. . . embarrassing, but hilarious!

Here’s another gem for you; My daughter and I were visiting a neighbor and she had brought a cucumber to snack on. While eating her cucumber, we were talking. My daughter wanted to add to the conversation, but had a mouth full of cucumber. Doing the mommy thing, I said ” Ruby, don’t eat while you’re eating!” She looked at me like I had just grown two heads. There was nothing to do but laugh, as my neighbor explained what I had actually meant to say.

So I’m working on finding the right balance in my life to stop this very aggravating condition. Medication, diet, exercise, stress reduction, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I developed the recipe for this cherry crisp a while ago, and it has been languishing in the dark recesses of my computer, waiting to be set free.

 

Recipe: Summer Cherry Crisp

Ingredients

  • 7 cups pitted cherries (2.5 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place pitted cherries into a large bowl.
  3. Add the vanilla sugar and cornstarch, stir to mix well.
  4. Pour the cherry mixture into a large baking dish.
  5. In a large bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, vanilla sugar and salt.
  6. Using your clean fingers, pinch the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles crumbs.
  7. Mix in the pine nuts.
  8. Spread the topping evenly over the cherries.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes, until topping is lightly browned and fruit is bubbling.
  10. *vanilla sugar is made by placing a fresh vanilla bean into a container of sugar. Plain sugar can be substituted.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

The Cherry Twins

Double Cherries
Double Cherries

I love cherries.  They are probably my favorite fruit, although they run a close race with watermelon.  While shopping the other day I saw some lovely cherries, and for a great price too!  I couldn’t pass that up.

When I got home I opened my bag to wash my ruby red gems. Then I started to notice something interesting…my bag was loaded with cherry twins.  That is my name for double cherries.  Sure, you usually will get a few in a bag sometimes, but I had almost 20!  What?!

Was nature mooning me with those plump, round orbs?  Was I just lucky to see nature create art in its primitive way?   According to an article I found online at Good Fruit Grower Magazine double cherries occur when the crop gets too much heat.

Cherry doubling is a sporadic problem but one that costs the Pacific Northwest cherry industry millions of dollars when it happens.

Doubled cherries, which are usually treated as culls, form when the flower buds are damaged by excessive summer heat.

Tim Smith, Washington State University Extension educator for north central Washington, told growers during Stone Fruit Day that misinformation has been circulated about doubling. It is not caused by chemical sprays, such as dimethoate, after harvest. “It absolutely, positively, is not,” he stressed.

When flower buds for the following year are developing, excessive heat can cause the ovule to double, resulting in a double cherry or a spur, where one side of the fruit is aborted.

The doubling can be seen in the spring, as soon as the fruit starts to develop, but by that time it is almost a year since the damage was done, Smith said.

And I always thought it meant I was lucky to get double cherries.  Who knew it could cost the cherry industry millions of dollars?!  They still taste just as good to me.  In fact, they taste twice as good!