Since I mentioned this recipe in the earlier post today I decided to repost it. I have rewritten it to make it clearer. It was never really written down other than a list of ingredients and amounts. This dessert is much quicker than pie to make and you can use almost any fruit. The cake batter is put in the pan first then the hot cherries and juice poured over. The result is a cake with cherries in a thick sauce.
This recipe is from my Great Aunt, Mrs. Mable Pfeiffer Freed and probably dates from at least the mid 1800s. She was my father’s aunt and raised him after his mother died when he was five. It is a very old recipe that had been in her mother’s, Mrs. Emma Schulz Pfeiffer, family forever. Family legend says that it was a favorite of my father and his grandfather, Eugene Pfeiffer.
The family was German and I assume this is a German recipe although it is different from others I’ve read online. The family came from the Schleswig-Holstein area of Jutland in Germany.
The recipe will serve 6 to 8.
- 2 tablespoons butter, soft
- 1 ¼ cups of white sugar
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 1 ½ cups cooked or canned sour cherries
- ¼ cup cherry juice, from fresh or from the canned sour cherries
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter a 13x9x2 inch pan. I use a Pyrex baking dish.
If you use fresh sour cherries clean, stem and pit them. Leave the cherries whole and put them into a sauce pan. Sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar over the fruit, add ¼ cup of water and stir. Set the cherries aside.
If you are using canned sour cherries drain the juice into a measuring cup. Put the cherries into a sauce pan. Measure ¼ cup of the juice and add water if needed for the right amount. Add ¼ cup of sugar and stir. Set the cherries aside.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until light (I use a wooden spoon). In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. (I dump the ingredients into the bowl and blend with a wire whisk). Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture in the large bowl. Always end with dry when mixing cake. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the buttered pan, push into the corners and level. Set aside while you cook the cherries.
Heat the sour cherries, the juice (and water if needed) and sugar over medium high heat until it just comes to a boil. Pour the hot liquid and the cherries over the cake batter. Do NOT mix. It will look weird but that is the way it needs to look. After it is baked it looks marbled.
Bake at 350 degrees 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. Top with ice cream, cream or whipped cream.
It is good cold or you can heat up individual servings in the microwave.
Adding a teaspoon of almond flavoring to the cherries improves the flavor. A tablespoon of rum is another good addition.
Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.