Monday, August 29, 2011

Can He Bake A Cherry Pie?

UPDATE:  Thanks to all of you who said a prayer, sent safe thoughts and asked about our son and his wife.  So far they are just fine.  Not a lot of rain and high winds where they are.  However, our son works in New Bedford, Massachusetts where there has been some damage.  Our dear DIL works in Providence.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.  A mother's worry is never done!!

I don't know if he can bake a cherry pie.  He can bake a cherry pound cake.  The Baker came home with a big box of Bing cherries fresh from Washington State.  Our local cherries are long past appearing in our market but these were delicious.  I, of course, felt it my duty to do a taste test and declared them fit to star in a dessert of his choice.  He decided on a last salute to the cherries of summer.

Instead of going to his fat file of newspaper clipped recipes, he pulled out Sheila Lukins' U.S.A. cookbook and set to work.  With a few minor changes, here is the moist and delicious result.

Cherry Poundcake made by The Baker as inspired by Sheila Lukins

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole sour cream
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups pitted fresh Bing cherries

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 x 5 x 2 3/4 inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of waxed paper and grease the paper.
2.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks and the vanilla and continue beating until smooth.  Add the sour cream and beat to blend.
3.  Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add all but 2 Tbsp of the mixture to the batter in three batches stirring with a spatula after each addition until just combined.  Toss the remaining flour mixture with the cherries in a bowl and set aside.
4.  Using well-cleaned beaters and a clean bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until they hold soft peaks.  Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter until combined.  Fold in the remainder of the egg whites with a spatula until just combined being careful not to over mix and deflate the egg whites.
5.  Fold the cherries into the batter then pour into the prepared pan.  Bake in the 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean--about 45 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.