Just Dessert

What the Catbirds Didn’t Eat

I also wrote yesterday that the birds and I were battling practically beak a mano over the ripe cherries, and that, by virtue of CHEATING, the birds were kind of winning.  Okay, maybe I didn't write that at all, but I wrote something like it and also mentioned that I managed to pick about two cups (after pitting) of sour cherries, and that will probably be all we humans get this year from that tree.


Well, it also happened that while I was at the grocery store earlier in the day, I'd picked up a bag of cherries.  Bill loves cherries, so I figured Happy Father's Day to him.

And then, once I'd picked what I could of our sour cherries, I figured I could make a pie or something.

I didn't make a pie.  I made a cobbler.  I needed 8 cups of pitted cherries (or any kind of fruit), and by some happy quirk of fate, I had exactly that – my 2 cups of the sour cherries plus the bag from the store gave me exactly 8 cups.  I mixed them all with the juice of half a lemon and 3/4 cup of sugar and poured them in a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Then I made the cobbler topping, which was, if I remember right, 3 cups of flour, 3/4 tsp salt, 3 T sugar, 1 T baking powder, 3/4 t baking soda…you whisk those together and then, either in a food processor or with a pastry blender or your hands or your dueling sabers – whatever you prefer – cut in 7 T cold butter and 3 T shortening until the mixture is like coarse sand…and then you pour in enough buttermilk to bring the whole thing together into a nice dough.  Don't overmix it.  (Oh, and the recipe came from Christopher Kimball's Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook, which hasn't made it back to the shelf yet.  I think his recipe also called for lemon zest (optional) and some minute tapioca mixed into the fruit, but I didn't have the tapioca and I didn't feel like zesting (?  how lazy can I be?), so I didn't use those.

Anyway, you bake the fruit first, at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, and then you take balls of the dough and plop them all over the top of the fruit, and then sprinkle 2 T of sugar over the whole thing.  (I used sparkling sugar – it stays big and glittery.)  Then you raise the oven temp up to 425 and bake another 15 minutes or so (I think I went 20) until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.


Let it sit for 20 minutes or so, and then serve, warm, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  But hey, who am I to tell you how to eat it?  You could also serve it with cherry vanilla ice cream if you want…or maybe…after a meal of oven roasted catbirds.


We had Cornish Hens.  They're plumper than catbirds.

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