Quick, before cherries are still in season (not much longer here in the northeastern U.S.), run out and buy some to make this cake. It’s easy to put together, assuming you don’t mind spending 10 minutes pitting cherries.
Maybe you already own a cherry pitter, and in that case, go ahead and use it. But you don’t need one. I owned one many moons ago, given to me by my son after he spent a week helping a friend’s grandmother harvest and pit cherries from her orchard in upstate New York. But I didn’t use it often, so I gave it away. Now when I pit cherries, I just use the “smush-them-under-a-can” method. Just make sure you have a flat surface you don’t mind getting soiled, and place a cherry on the surface. Press down with a can (I used a can of baked beans) but don’t bang on it, or you’ll get juice splattered all over you too. Lift the can and remove the stem and the pit with your hands. The cherry will come apart in two pieces with a little tug. You’ll want it to come apart in two pieces for this recipe, because if left whole, they’re heavier and more likely to sink to the bottom of the cake.
This recipe comes to you via fellow blogger and friend, Stacey, who made it with pistachios instead of almonds. I love pistachios but had more almonds in the house, so decided to use them both times I made it this week (yes, I made it both Monday and Tuesday!). I ramped up the almond flavor a little with more almond extract, but you can use vanilla extract if you prefer. After you’ve spread the batter in the skillet, lightly press the cherry halves into the batter, and sprinkle with the almonds.
Let it cool slightly, then serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
It’s got a delicious almond flavor and a very tender crumb, punctuated with those delicious cherries.
As one of my grandsons said as I was serving the cake earlier this week – “I want a grandpop-size slice.” After trying this cake, I think you will too.
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- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup of almond flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt (I USED ½ TSP.)
- 1 cup sugar (I USED ¾ CUP)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk (or milk mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice)
- ½ tsp almond extract (I USED 1 TEASPOON)
- 1 pound cherries, pitted (I USED ABOUT 2 DOZEN CHERRIES, PITTED AND CUT IN HALF)
- slivered almonds to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 350F and butter a 10" cast iron skillet (You could use a cake pan too.)
- Cream together the butter, extract, lemon zest, sugar and egg until nice and light.
- Mix in the flour, salt, baking powder and almond flour.
- Pour in buttermilk and mix together.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and dot with the cherries, pressing the fruit lightly into the batter.
- Sprinkle the top with the almonds and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
- Serve warm with ice cream, or sprinkle with confectioner's sugar before serving.