Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cherry- Almond Yogurt Cake

When summer comes, we are always excited to get lovely organic fruit that we usually shun the rest of the year because they come from too far away or cost too much.

We usually don't buy things like cherries, strawberries or watermelon in fall and winter. We tend to eat lots of apples, pears and dried fruit because that is a bit more affordable when it comes to organic fruit. I am especially vigilant to buy organic when it comes to fruit where we eat the peel, such as apples, cherries or other stone fruits, so when this time of year comes around, we are in heaven because there are so many delicious choices!

This still means that these special fruits are more like "treats" and that they are precious. After trying my hand at growing organic fruit, I realize that there is much time, patience and perserverance in growing one organic apple, a lone pear or a handful of cherries (that the birds didn't get to first).

I have come to the conclusion that paying an organic farmer a little more for a fruit that doesn't contaminate our soil, harm their farm hands, or poison our children is entirely worth the extra money. So we may not buy cases of cherries but we do relish a small bag of them bite by juicy bite.

This recipe is one sure way to enjoy those cherries or other special fruit that you may have worked hard to produce or paid a few extra dollars for. It can be whipped up in a few minutes just before sitting down to dinner, so you can have a warm and very special dessert afterwards.

Cherry- Almond Yogurt Cake
I like to leave the cherry pits/stems in because it looks so natural and it makes for a fun eating experience. You can take them out if you prefer. For best texture, use yogurt with some fat content in it, 2% works fine. If you really want to splurge, serve it with some softly whipped cream.

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Topping:1 tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp cane sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a cake pan, quiche pan, pie plate or whatever pan you have.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. With mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat for another minute or two on high speed.
4. Add 1/3 of flour mixture, then 1/3 yogurt and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Repeat two more times. Add extracts with last mixing.
5. Spoon into cake pan and very lightly press cherries into top of cake. Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar on top and drizzle melted butter on top.
6. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with no crumbs attached. I really like this slightly underbaked so it is nice and moist, feel free to bake longer if desired.