Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

2 Cherry Recipes To Make This Summer

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Cherry Berry Fruit Leather-1

Since cherries are in season now, Northwest Cherry Growers are sharing two recipes featuring this yummy fruit – Cherry Berry Fruit Leather and Sweet Cherry Almond Bars.

Did you know that cherry benefits include:

·         Fiber: cherries are a good source of fiber, helping kids stay full longer
·         Low Glycemic Index: cherries have a low glycemic index, which helps to prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar – ultimately reducing the risk of Diabetes
·         Melatonin: cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which help to regulate the body’s internal clock and promote a healthy sleep pattern

Enjoy making these treats!

Cherry Berry Fruit Leather

Adapted from Put ’em Up!

Ingredients

* 4 cups sweet dark cherries, stemmed and pitted (a cherry pitter will definitely come in handy)
* 2 cups blueberries, rinsed and dried
* A large splash (roughly 1/4 cup) of water
* 1/3 cup sugar (optional)
* You will also need either unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat

Directions
1. Put the cherries, blueberries and water in a medium-sized pot (taller sides are better since you’ll be blending in the pot) and bring them to a boil. Simmer until the fruit begins to break down, about 10 minutes. Puree the fruit, using an immersion blender or by pouring it into a blender and then back into the pot again.

2. If you’re using the oven, preheat it to 175° F. Line a jelly-roll pan or rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

3. Add the sugar and continue to simmer the fruit puree over low heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens to the consistency of baby food – this may take 10-15 minutes.

4. Spread the sweetened, thickened puree onto the baking sheet, tilting to create an even layer about 1/4-inch thick. The edges will dry out more quickly so try to leave them a tiny bit thicker.

5. If you’re using the oven, bake until just tacky to the touch which can take anywhere from 3-6 hours, depending on how juicy your puree is. If you’re using a food deyhdrator, set it to 130° F and cook for between 6-12 hours, testing every hour or so until smooth to the touch with no visibly wet spots.

6. Cool to room temperature. Slide the parchment paper or Silpat onto a cutting board and peel the leather off. Then roll each sheet up and slice it into two- to three inch-wide pieces. Store, rolled up in an airtight container on the counter for up to a month.

 

Sweet Cherry Almond Bars

Adapted from Just So Tasty

Sweet Cherry Almond Bars

Ingredients
•    fruit filling
•    about 14 ounces of pitted cherries, halved or rough chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
•    2 Tbsp sugar
•    juice of 1/2 lemon
•    1/2 tsp almond extract
•    1 tsp cornstarch
•    shortbread dough
•    1 cup flour
•    1/4 cup almond meal or almond flour
•    1/2 cup sugar
•    pinch salt
•    1/2 tsp baking powder
•    1 egg yolk
•    1 tsp almond extract
•    1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) cold, unsalted butter cut in pieces
•    topping
•    1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

1.    Set oven to 350F
2.    Lightly spray an 8×8 baking pan
3.    Stir together the cherries with the sugar, lemon juice, extract, and cornstarch. Set aside, tossing occasionally to encourage some of the juices to start flowing.
4.    Put the flour, almond meal, sugar, salt, and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
5.    Add the yolk, extract, and butter, and pulse or process to combine just until the dough comes together, it will be crumbly.
6.    Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of your pan to form the crust. Top with the cherries. Then crumble the remaining dough evenly over the cherries. Top with the sliced almonds and bake for about 40 minutes until the dough is just golden and the filling is bubbling.
7.    Let cool before cutting.

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