Making desserts out of fresh, seasonal Ontario fruits is one of my favourites things about this time of year. We have to rely on exports through all the colder months, but when the warmer weather comes and we can harvest our own produce it’s great to be able to use it. What better way to celebrate the harvest, then with a buttery Sour Cherry Brown Betty?
A few years ago, my parents planted this sour cherry tree to replace one we chopped down in the backyard. I’ve been waiting for the year when the cherries would grow bountiful enough for us to make a nice dessert for us to enjoy and celebrate summer.
When I was visiting my parents on the weekend, I spotted the plump red and golden sour cherries, ready for the picking. If i didn’t do it now, the wildlife would start to eat them all. Even their doberman, Shadow, has been spotted eating the lowest hanging cherries.
Before long, I had a bowl full of cherries – and organic no less! A pie calls for about 6 cups and I was only able to pick about 2 cups, so I needed to find a recipe that worked with what I had.
Looking through my mother’s cookbook collection, we found Edna Staebler’s “More Food that Really Schmecks“. Edna’s cookbooks are a collection of Mennonite recipes from the Waterloo region of Ontario and have become a staple in our family’s cookbook library over the years. Almost everything we’ve made from them comes out amazing – she must have been onto something because she lived to be 100 years old!
I decided to make a variation of her “Glowing Cherry Betty”, as it called for exactly the 2 cups of cherries I had pitted and ready to go.
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups Sour Cherries, pitted and with their juices
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup Whole Wheat or White Flour
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Butter
- Optional: 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds, shelled and toasted
Stir the brown sugar, flour and vanilla into the cherries. Turn the mixture into a buttered 8″ x 8″ baking dish.