Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cherries for Summer

Even though this is further off-topic than I usually go, I thought I'd share this with all of you. Maybe I'm hoping for more Summer-like weather!

Every summer, my little Austrian grandma (the one who's turning 101 next month) would make this recipe, and it would disappear faster than Britney Spears' undies for the paparazzi. One of these cakes would show up, and I'd know for sure it was Summer! While she called it a cherry torte (or sometimes cherry pie), it's more like a cherry cake. It's very delicious, and when I made it last year for Mr. ShellHawk, he loved it.

I swear, it has no calories at all!

Oma's Cherry Torte

1 1/2 lbs cherries, pitted
6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) sweet unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon zest of one medium lemon
2 Tbsp. ground hazelnuts or ground almonds
Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9" spring pan form, like you use for making cheesecake (I use butter, myself.)
Sprinkle the ground nuts evenly on the bottom of the pan.
Beat the butter until smooth, add egg, and then sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Add vanilla extract, and then add the lemon zest.
Mix in flour well with a spoon.
Pour 1/2 the batter into the pan.
Add the cherries and spread evenly across the batter. (This batter is thick*, so it will be a bit sticky.)
Sprinkle cherries with a little sugar.
Pour remaining batter over the cherries.
Bake 1 1/2 hours. Torte is done when toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let it cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. (We always left it on the bottom of the springform pan and removed the springform part. You might also want to line the bottom of the pan with baker's parchment, but you don't have to.)

Prior to serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. (If you're an overachiever, find a nice stencil and make some patterns on top of the torte with the powdered sugar.)

Since I'm a childless adult, and can eat what I want without having to be a good example, I sometimes will have this for breakfast with a large cup of coffee.

*I'm considering adding 1/4 cup milk to the recipe, just to see what happens...

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