remember when i put those sour cherries simply in jars way back in july? look at them now…
am i the only one that sees a scarface reference here? nevermind. guess you had to watch it about 20 or so times. ahem. just sayin’.
back to the cake, tea cake that is. tea cake is a term i’m fond of using for many of the sweetish, cake-like things coming out of my kitchen. because to call them quick breads, while giving credence to the time it takes to muster up the ingredients and get them in the pan, falls far short of describing the delicate crunch, moist and tender crumb, and dramatic mix of flavors one can find in a truly great tea cake. plus, if offered a slice of cake or a slice of bread with your spot of tea, which would you choose? and cake for breakfast? but of course!
i mean, it’s got eggs in it. and fruit. and there’s tea involved.
it’s been a while since i’ve waxed about my romance with the mediterranean region – it’s in my blood after all! and since it’s been a couple of summers now since i’ve had the good fortune of dipping my toes in the deep blue, i decided to bring a bit of the flavors on home. this cake is plump with cherries, fatted up with olive oil, and topped with almond extract. it’s exactly the flavors one might enjoy upon waking from their afternoon siesta, or even at the close of a three hour lunch comprised of cheap bottles (a few!) of good wine, something from the sea and probably made in the largest pan you’ve ever seen, lively conversation and a sun hovering low with the last sweet bite (no worries though, dinner’s at eleven).
oh dear, i miss the balearic islands – this cake just brought me back!
sour cherry tea cake
- 2 pints simple sour cherries, drained (or 2 cups fresh, pitted*)
1 & 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 & 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sugar
butter or oil for greasing pan
- 1 bundt pan, or two 9X5 loaf pans, greased and dusted thoroughly
- preheat oven to 350 degrees. prepare pan.
- in a large bowl mix together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- in a separate bowl whisk eggs until blended. add sugar & almond extract and whisk again. add olive oil and drained cherries, stir to combine.
- pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir with a large spoon just until combined and all the flour is hydrated, but no more. this ensures a tender cake.
- pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes clean from the center. it is a good idea to rotate the cake at the 30 minute mark to ensure an even bake.
if we weren’t good friends here, i might be embarrassed to tell you how fast this tea cake disappeared. if you’re a small household you could freeze half – to save yourself from yourself. it will taste just as delicious out of the freezer in the next month or so.
if you are having guests for tea, you could dress it up with a dusting of powdered sugar, and some thinly slivered almonds scattered across the top. that would also help to cover the little crumblies that inevitably happen where you didn’t grease and flour the pan quite enough – or you can do as i do and celebrate ‘rustic’.
*if you’ve canned the simple sour cherries yourself and put a few pits in each jar for flavor as i did, do make sure you get them all out before letting them fall down the drain and create garbage disposal havoc – or worse yet! this may seem crazy, but since i missed a few with my paws, and found them promptly with my teeth – it could be a good idea to record just how many pits you put in those jars!
roast the toast: a now and then series devoted to pumping up the jams,
and other sweet preserves. ’cause a tigress can’t live on bread alone. duh!