Cherries aren’t just for topping ice cream sundaes – the colorful burst of red that the fruit delivers can create deliciously eye-catching desserts. Yes, cherry desserts go beyond the vibrant hue that peeks through a slice of cherry pie, as you will see with the following dessert ideas for cherries.
1. Cherry Clafoutis
Bring the taste of the French country to your table with cherry clafoutis (or clafouti). Tradition calls for the first cherries of the season with fruit that is left unpitted. This way, the natural almond flavor is released when baking. Today, using pitted cherries makes it easier to bake and eat the dessert. Clafoutis is a pudding dessert with sweet cherries that are covered by a thin batter (similar to pancakes) that is baked in the oven. When the batter sets, the edges become slightly puffed and browned. When serving the dessert, dust with confectioner’s (powdered or icing) sugar.
Turnovers are the fruit-filled pastries you often see at the local bakery. Cherry is one of the most popular flavors for this dessert. You can make a quick version with one (8-ounce) package of refrigerated crescent rolls, one cup of cherry pie filling, ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, and one tablespoon of milk. Unroll the dough and separate into eight triangles. Create four squares by pressing the seams of two triangles together and rolling into shape. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spoon ¼ cup of pie filling in one corner of each square, and then fold to make triangles. Pinch to seal. Bake the dough at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes (or until they turn a golden color). Mix the sugar and milk together, and drizzle over turnover once they are out of the oven. Serve warm.
The Joy of Baking offers a recipe for a Cherry Tart made with frangipane (almond cream) that combines granulated white sugar, unsalted butter, egg, pure vanilla extract, and almond meal (flour). The creamy combination of sugar, butter, eggs, and almond meal creates a tasty flavor with the cherries that is placed in a crisp yet crumbly pastry crust. The recipe calls for pitted sweet Bing cherries. When buying the fruit, seek out plump, shiny fruit with a deep red (almost black) color. Stems should still be attached and the fruit needs firmness with no soft spots.
4. Sour Cherry Soup
For a cherry dessert with European flair, you may combine sour cream (or sweet cream), sugar, and whole fresh sour cherries to create a sweet soup. Served chilled, usually people make this sweet treat during the summertime when cherries are ripe. There are also variations that include different wine or sherry.
5. Cherries Jubilee
Liqueur is used to make this cherry dessert that is traditionally flambéed (set afire), and then served as a sauce over vanilla ice cream.
Other cherry desserts: