Cherry Browned Butter Bars

July 6, 2016 | By | Reply More

cherry desserts

Spring and summer bring a barrage of fleeting treats after long winters of eating mostly root vegetables and whatever I was able to squirrel away in my freezer or pantry from the previous summer. First, I eagerly wait for asparagus, then that magic time when asparagus and morels overlap for about two weeks, then it’s spring peas and sour cherries. All of these are the prelude to the mother lode of abundant and amazing summer fruits and vegetables I hoard like someone with an illness.

Right now, sweet cherries are in season – another favorite of mine that’s not around long enough. A bowl of them sits on my windowsill after my weekly trips to the farmers’ market so I can eat one, or eight, as I pass by them in the kitchen. They are the star of one of my favorite cherry desserts, one that’s perfect for toting to your cherry dessertsearly summer gatherings. I suspect that, in a pinch, they would go down pretty easy with your morning coffee, but I wouldn’t know.

This recipe comes from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. You do not need a special gadget to pit cherries. Granted, pitting pounds of them will drive you to drink, but I pitted less than one pound for this recipe, and I use a a paper clip that I unwind so that one hook is the “handle” and the other, smaller hook is the pitter. I get good results, and the cherries stay mostly intact.

cherry desserts**Before you get started, prepare an 8×8 baking dish. Cut two 12-inch long lengths of either parchment or foil. Trim the width of each so they fit into the bottom of your dish. Lay one sheet in one way, and then lay the other sheet in perpendicular to it so that you have an overhang on all four sides of the dish. Once the bars are baked and cooled, this makes for easy removal and clean-up.**

Ingredients (Makes 16-20 bars)

Crust:

7 tablespoons or 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/3 cup cane sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

Filling:

12 ounces sweet cherries, pitted

1/2 cup, 4 ounces or 1 stick of unsalted butter

cherry desserts

Browned butter looks like this

1/2 cup cane sugar

2 large eggs

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Step one:

7 tablespoons or 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/3 cup cane sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

cherry dessertsPreheat oven to 375°. Mix together the melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix until smooth and no dry spots remain. Transfer this dough to the bottom of your prepared pan and use your fingers to press it down evenly and into the corners. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling. Maintain the oven temperature.

Step two:

12 ounces sweet cherries

While the crust bakes, pit the cherries carefully so they are as intact as possible. Set aside.

Step three:

1/2 cup, 4 ounces or 1 stick of unsalted butter

Time to brown the butter! Over medium heat in a small saucepan, cook the butter and stir often. If you use a saucepan with a lighter colored interior, it will be easier to see when your butter is sufficiently browned. After the butter is totally melted, it will begin to simmer and get foamy. In about 5-6 minutes, the butter will begin to turn a cherry dessertsdeep nutty brown color and you will see browned solids on the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and immediately pour the butter into a glass or measuring cup and set aside so it can cool slightly.

Step four:

1/2 cup cane sugar

2 large eggs

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla extract. Gradually whisk in the flour. Slowly drizzle in the reserved browned butter, whisking constantly until mixture is smooth.

Step five:

cherry dessertsAssemble the bars. Arrange the reserved pitted cherries in a single layer on top of your baked crust. I like to line them up like little soldiers. Carefully pour the prepared filling over the cherries, making sure to fill the edges and corners of the pan.

Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This can take anywhere from 40 minutes to nearly an hour depending on your oven so just keep watch. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool completely before lifting the bars out and cutting into small bars.

 

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Category: Desserts, Food, General, Recipes, Summer

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