6 to 8 cups fresh sweet dark cherries, pitted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream or Non-dairy whipped topping
In a large bowl, combine the pitted cherries, sugar, cornstarch, grated lemon zest, almond extract, salt and ground cinnamon (if using). Toss mixture gently and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes so the flavors can combine well.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Place the butter in a 9 x 13-inch rectangular glass or ceramic baking dish and put the baking dish in the oven while the oven preheats.
While the butter is melting in the baking dish in the oven, mix the batter in a large bowl by combining the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk.
When the butter is completely melted, remove the pan from oven and pour the batter into the melted butter. The batter will immediately begin to cook, which is what you want.
Carefully spoon the cherry mixture evenly over the batter.
Return dish to oven and bake cobbler for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until batter sets and is browned (as the cobbler cooks, the batter will begin to rise up around the cherry mixture). Remove cobbler from oven and place on cooling rack.
Serve cobbler warm or at room temperature. If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping and decorate each serving with a fresh mint sprig.
Makes 9-12 servings.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2004
Date: July 31, 2004