Thursday, November 18, 2010

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Hungarian Sour Cherry Cake

On her blog Edible Living, Sarah Copeland writes about the sour cherries one finds in Hungary during the summer. As it happens, both cherries and Hungarian cookery have been on my mind lately, so I was all ears and pupils when I came across her family recipe for a Hungarian sour cherry cake. I’ve tweaked it to accommodate a standard 9” x 13” Pyrex baking dish and to take advantage of a 2-pound jar of sour cherries I’d put up in the brief period we get them here in San Diego.

Whole wheat flour is not something I use much around the Whiskey Forge, but I’m very glad not to have substituted white flour as was my original intent. It provides a sturdy — but not too heavy — framework for the cherries. Sweet, but not too sweet. The day I made it, I had some for tea n the afternoon. What was left of it the next night, we had with a cardamom-orange ice cream I’d made the week before.
Hungarian Sour Cherry Cake

2 lbs/900g pitted canned sour cherries, drained
8 oz/230g unsalted butter
1.5 cups/200g sugar
3 Tbl/45ml brandy or kirsch (I used the Jepson’s Rare Alembic Brandy)
1 tsp/15ml vanilla extract
1 egg
2.25 cups/350g whole wheat flour
1 Tbl/15ml baking powder
.75 tsp/3.5ml kosher salt
1 cup/250ml milk
Butter and flour for the pan

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 9” x 13" Pyrex baking dish and dust with flour; set aside. In a Kitchenaid mixer or large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, brandy/kirsch, and vanilla on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg; beat until incorporated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk in 3 batches to make a batter. Spoon the batter onto reserved baking sheet and smooth evenly. Sprinkle cherries over the top and press slightly into the thick batter. Bake until cake is golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Let cake cool 30 minutes, then cut into squares or bars.
Goes well with:
  • Sarah Copeland’s story about the cake
  • Saveur magazine published Copeland’s recipe for this short cake dotted with cherries


Chef Basket said...

This Hungarian Sour Cherry Cake sounds great! Thanks for the recipe.

sarah said...

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for posting my recipe and the link to my blog! I'm so glad you liked it, and that you went the whole wheat flour route. Good eh? Your cardamom-orange ice cream sounds like the perfect compliment.

Thanks also for the inspiration to put up some sour cherries this season. Will you come pit them for me? :)

Matthew Rowley said...

If you split the haul, I'd gladly consider pitting them all! Of course, I may subcontract the job...

The whole wheat route was definitely the way to go. It's not something I keep around the house, but with a Trader Joe's nearby, it was easy to find.

yoli said...

I've just found this by accident! I love your blog and I as I'm half Hungarian and I live in Hungary eat this cake so often! Well done!
Yours look nice as yummy:)

Matthew Rowley said...

Thanks, Yoli ~

The morning after Thanksgiving in California, the LAST thing I want to do is eat. We feasted last night; only apple brandy saved me at the end of the night from death by pie. But you've reminded me that this is a good cake. I may have to make one this weekend. Or next week — whenever we get hungry again.