I could not resist the 7 litre bushel of cherries at the farmers market. Who could? After gorging on cherries and suffering subsequent tummy aches, I decided to preserve some of them to enjoy later.
Guess what? Pitting cherries, even with my handy-dandy cherry pitter, is no…bowl of cherries. (…groan?) I am covered in cherry splash-back, my hands are purple, my cookbooks and camera are splattered.
I experimented with saving them in syrup so that I could use them as topping for yogurt, ice cream or for baking tarts later in the year. They worked out well, and are oh so beautiful.
I made cherry jam, using no-sugar needed pectin, so I didn’t have super sweet jam like the strawberry I made earlier this week.
And, I made a Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake, using a Martha recipe. I didn’t have the right pan, Martha wanted me to use a tube pan but all I had was a bundt pan, which means my streusel topping will actually be a streusel bottoming. oops. ah well.
… and…Flipped over. No one can tell, right?
Cherry Filled Coffee Cake & the Queen’s Sugar
In the cake recipe, I needed vanilla extract. I only had some crappy artificial extract left from years ago, so I used that. My lovely friend Jacqui (co-founder of the Cross Country Baking Club), gave me a jar of homemade vanilla extract a few Christmases ago. I finally used it all up and decided it was high-time I made my own. I used rum as the alcohol because I had some from a recent trip to Cuba and think it will impart a nice flavour. The 4 split vanilla beans and 1 cup of rum will take about eight weeks to become the vanilla extract we all know and love. I’ll keep you updated on its exciting and slow progress.
Day One – Vanilla Extract