Thursday, June 28

Cherry Orchards

Up until last week, the closest I had ever gotten to a cherry orchard was reading Anton Chekhov's masterpiece, The Cherry Orchard. And if you're familiar with that play, you know it doesn't end happily for the family or the cherry trees.

Thankfully, life is much happier in the state of Washington, especially the Leavenworth region, where scores of cherry orchards heavy with fruit line the highways. A fully fruited cherry tree is gorgeous — the clusters of cherries are dramatically suspended from branches, like firework starbursts.

Despite having eaten over three pounds of cherries in three days while we were in Washington, we're still craving them. So last night  I made Smashed Cherries, Amaretti and Ricotta, a delightful, no-cook summer dessert from Cheryl Sterman-Rule's new cookbook, Ripe: A Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables. I had tested this recipe for Cheryl last year and have made it numerous times since. No doubt, you will too. 

If you'd like to learn more about Cheryl's book, then please see my full review at One For The Table, which also includes a tasty recipe for Radish and Olive Crostini. 

Smashed Cherries, Amaretti and Ricotta 
A no-cook summer dessert.
Serves 4
Printable recipe.

4 cups (1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
2 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 amaretti cookies
1 teaspoon cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips

Thwack the cherries with the flat side of a heavy knife so they flatten. Discard the pits. Divide the cherries among 4 pretty, clear glasses.

In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, sugar, milk, and almond extract. Spoon pillows of ricotta over the cherries in equal proportions. Crumble one amaretti cookie over each serving and sprinkle with the cacao nibs. Serve immediately.

Tip: You'll find amaretti cookies (Italian macaroons) in larger supermarkets or Italian grocery stores, though you may substitute toasted, chopped almonds if you like.

Third photo credit: Photography © 2012 by Paulette Phlipot


Sprigs of Rosemary said...

As a child, I'd eat so many cherries, my mom would tell me she could swear she saw little round balls in my tummy. I still love them, although I can rally some restraint these days. The chocolate cherry combo sounds delightful, one fruit/chocolate marriage I've yet to try.

Half Baked said...

Looks divine! I love the shot of the cherries hanging in the tree...gorgeous!

Mrs. L said...

I grew up in an area that used to be all cherry orchards, but alas, is now all tech companies (Silicon Valley). I miss being able to sneak into cherry orchards on my way home from school and grabbing a cherry or two!

I'm going to assume that the first ingredient of 4 cups is cherries? Sounds like a wonderfully simple but tasty recipe to use cherries in (and a perfect excuse to go buy a bag of amaretti cookies, a favorite of mine).

Joanne said...

I helped Cheryl out with her book signing in Seattle and this was one of the recipes we made! LOVED it. And her. That woman is adorable in so many ways, as is the book!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

What fun to visit a cherry orchard, without all the additional drama of Chekhov! And the dessert sounds amazing!

Ashley Blom said...

What a beautiful, classy dessert. I am big into cherries right now!

Liz the Chef said...

Holy cow, Susan, this is the dessert recipe for the summer...And those photos actually made me kind of drool.

Ayngelina said...

That dessert looks delicious. We're just heading into strawberry season now in Ontario.

Unknown said...

Wow! That looks delicious! I just bought my first bag of cherries of the year and I'm super stoked on making a ton of different cherry recipes!

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I actually made this dessert, and have to say that it was not that impressive. The Cheese mixture is tasty, but cherries were a mess to smash, even though I used a zip-loc bag. It was only "ok" for the effort.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

What a delicious dessert. I love cherries too and cannot stop eating them at this time of year.

Michelle said...

Very enticing recipe. I gotta try this. Now or never.

Marvine said...


Lynda Bay said...

The cherry heaven! I love it!