Sunday, May 31, 2009

Magazine Monday #40: Sour Cherry Loaf

I often bemoan the fact that, living as I do in the middle of nowhere, I have less access to exotic ingredients than a lot of people living in larger centres do. Case in point: sour cherries. We get black cherries in season from the Okanagan, which is great. Sometimes, if you want to pay the ridiculous prices, you can even get them out of season. We get marashino cherries in syrup. But I have never seen a single sour cherry in these parts until last week, when I happened upon a jar while cruising the aisles of Save-on Foods in Nelson. I wasn't even looking for them; I was just wandering by the foreign foods section, and out they popped. I didn't even think about it; I just put them in my basket, noting the $4.99 price tag (they are a product of Bulgaria, I later read on the label. I'm surprised they weren't more). I got them home and proceeded to agonize over what to do with them.

Last week I also received my June issue of Gourmet, and in it was a recipe for Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. The old wheels began turning in my brain (it happens from time to time) and I decided to make a Sour Cherry Buttermilk Cake instead. The wheels continuted to turn, and I went on to decide that a Sour Cherry Buttermilk Loaf would be even better. (The reasoning behind this is purely psychological; I would be far more amenable to having a loaf kicking around the house as opposed to a cake. If this seems purely irrational to you, join the club.)

So, on the hottest day of the year yet, I fired up the oven (as much as you can fire up a 30 year old electric oven) and baked. The recipe I used is here. In addition to replacing the raspberries with sour cherries and making this into a loaf instead of a cake, I also took the opportunity to try out some of my Billington's sugar crystals that were part of a box of treasures Jodi sent me in March.

The result was both ugly and wonderful. The ugly part was that the loaf looked terrible: flat and overly browned. It looked quite like a brick, actually.
Not quite what I was expecting. I was also not expecting this:
The cherries sunk right from the top of the loaf directly to the bottom. Weird.

The wonderful part was that this cake tasted awesome. Next time, I'll at least follow the instructions and bake it in a cake pan (though the recipe specifies a 9" round, I think the recipe is too small for this size pan; I've had this problem with some other recipes from Gourmet and/or Bon Appetit. The cake pan is too big for the amount of batter you get, so I use an 8").

18 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhh, that loaf looks delicious! I love sour cherries!

Cheers,

Rosa

Donna-FFW said...

What a neat idea to substitute the sour cherries. I dont think it look ugly, and the taste is all that counts in my book anyway:).

la said...

The German budget supermarket across the street sells sour cherries (as part of its Greek range - yeah I know, exotic ingredients at low, low prices, aren't I lucky?) and I've always wanted to buy a jar but never known what to do with it... til now!

girlichef said...

Oh, I love it...I would gobble this up!

Bunny said...

I can't get any of the things that people talk about on blogs as far as food goes , I don't live out in the country , we just don't have any big grocery chains around here. No Whole Foods , no Trader Joes...nothing. So I'm a slave to whatever my grocery store has. They do have a gourmet section so I'll have to look there for the cherries. That loaf looks pretty to me, it's so moist!!!!

Cathy said...

Wandering - you'd be surprised how hard it is to find some of those exotic ingredients - even in Calgary! This looks great - I'm going to have to look for sour cherries the next time I'm at a Save On.

Reeni♥ said...

The texture looks great, and the layer of cherries on the bottom is kind of cool. Almost like you planned it that way!

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Our ingredients are just as hard to come by here in the UP so I understand.

When I was a little girl grams used tons of sour cherries down in Texas and I became addicted!

That bread looks amazing. I'm glad you found those cherries!

Coleen's Recipes said...

You are far too critical of your final product, it looks delicious!!!
I could easily make a meal of this LOL.

adventureswiththewoods said...

Hey, I don't think it's ugly. Looks frigging good to me! I've never made anything with sour cherries, so I'll have to look for them and try your creation.

Pierce said...

I'd eat it! Looks fine and don't feel bad, I can't get sour cherries here either......

Elra said...

It actually look pretty mouth watering. Sour cherries sound really good.

curiousdomestic said...

Chopping the cherries would probably help. I do like the layer effect, though. It gives me ideas . . . and makes me hungry.

Denise said...

I dont think it looks bad, it looks really moist. I have never had sour cherries

Bellini Valli said...

The loaf looks amazing. I often miss a lot of the ingredients that I see on blogs here as well. I have yet to find a single jar of dulce de leche or fenugreek, ramps...the list goes on.

creampuff said...

I love your loaf vs. cake theory! Hilarious! Love sour cherries ... well done!

LOUISE said...

Hi! This looks fantastic! I read somewhere you can toss fruit in flour before mixing it in the batter, and that helps.. looks yum, and I love the idea of making it into a loaf!x

Wandering Coyote said...

Hi Louise, yeah, I've read that, too, but I didn't think it would be necessary because the batter was so thick. Will probably do that the next time. Thanks for commenting!

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