Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We went cherry picking yesterday. Cherry season is my favorite time of year. I know, I know, I said strawberry season is my favorite time of year. I meant that, too. Please don’t make me pick.
Cherry picking in the Hood River Valley is so much fun. The drive is a little more than an hour, and we get to take in some great scenery along the way. The Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood are beautiful in the summer, and the mountain air is sweet and refreshing. But, even if the trip wasn’t so nice, I would still go all that way for cherries.
I love cherries, but I do not love all cherries equally. I skip over the neon yellow and pink Rainiers and Royal Anns.
Sure, they’re pretty to look at, but their flavor has just one note—sweet. I’d rather fill up on Bings, Lamberts, and Lapins. And I’ll definitely take sour cherries, if I can find them.
The tree limbs above my head were so heavy with ripe, juicy fruit.
We got two big baskets to put our cherries into. My husband filled his right up.
My basket disappeared. Turns out I didn’t need it anyway, all the cherries I picked kept going directly into my mouth. But he knows it’s up to him to stock up, he’s the tall one. And also the fearless one.
I don’t really like climbing up on those big ladders.
My husband was also helpful this morning. While I prepared the other ingredients for our Cherry Aebleskiver breakfast, he pitted the cherries.
I just wish he didn’t do it wearing a white shirt.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature
3 room temperature large eggs, separated
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing the pan
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
¾ pound cherries, pitted
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Combine the milk, egg yolks, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until smooth. Whip the egg whites to medium peaks and fold into the batter.
Heat an aebleskiver pan over medium-low until a drop of water sizzles. Brush each cavity with melted butter and drop in the batter by the tablespoonful.
Press 1 cherry into the center of each one.
Cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn with a small offset spatula or fork.
Cook another minute or two, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a platter.
Make more aebleskiver with the remaining batter and cherries in the same manner, brushing the pan with melted butter between each batch. Dust with plenty of powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Serves 4. Best when served warm. The trick to making perfect aebleskiver is cooking them on the first side just until they’re golden brown on the surface but still runny in the center. As they are turned, the uncooked batter will flow into the pan, creating ball-shaped pancakes. Aebleskiver pans are available at most cookware stores. Aebleskiver, by the way, are traditionally made with apples.