I love cherries. In the early 90′s my parents moved to no-wheres-land Pennsylvania, where they had many acres of such land. Not being farmers or gardeners even, they didn’t explore the vegetation in the further reaches of the property. One day their hired land-helper (for lack of a better title) asked my mother if he could take some of the cherries from the cherry trees. “What, we have cherries?” was her comment. She went outside to see two enormous, fully fruited cherry trees, one Bing and another Queen Anne. I soon went to visit and we were picking bowls and bowls of cherries. These are very fond memories.
Cherries these days are pricey. About 2 weeks ago, my market had them on sale for $1.99/lb. I bought a lot. Cherries are great in the beginning, but then after a few days, it gets a little old and the cherries start to sit. This year I decided to not let them spoil.
I have been reading Carole Walter’s cookbook Great Cakes. I really like the recipes and information on better baking. There is a recipe for Fresh Fruit Pound Cake on pages 98-99 that I thought would be perfect for using up some cherries.
My first step was to get a cherry pitter. I found a great one from Progressive at Bed Bath and Beyond that pits 4 cherries at a time. It is called the Cherry-It Pitter. It makes pitting these little guys go very fast. The recipe calls for 1 cup, but I pitted 3 lbs because it was so much fun. Then I cut them into 4 pieces each. Also to the recipe I added 1 cup of semi sweet morsels (ala Nestle).
The recipe calls for using a tube pan. I don’t own one. Instead, I recently bought little baking loaf pans and decided to use them. The idea is that the smaller cakes could be used in my Food Swap next month.
After mixing the batter, I added in the chocolate chips. Using 4 loaf pans, I poured in enough for a bottom layer. Then L, placed the chopped cherry pieces on top of the layer. Then I poured more batter on top and added more cherries.
Since I was using a smaller pan size, I had to watch the cooking time. The recipe calls for around 60 minutes. My little pans were done in 40 minutes. The top was nicely browned.
I really liked the results. It was the perfect amount of cherries and chocolate. And the cake was sweet and moist. This is a definite keeper. And can be used with other fruits.