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.

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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.

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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.

I'M JUST KIDDING.

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

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