A bag of late season Bing cherries made it into my cart tonight. It was purely an impulse buy as I had nothing in mind for them when I reached out and rescued them from the supermarket display. Eh, they where were on special. That alone is usually not enough to persuade me to buy anything without plan but tonight it was just instinct .
I went through the checkout line of the impossibly perky checkout girl I happen like. She is the one with a tattoo on her neck and face who is always trying to decipher my basket as she checks through its contents. A bag of cherries, two apples, tomato paste and AA batteries. I imagine it is a game she plays to stay sane in a job where insanity must be a job requirement. A person’s grocery items are nothing more than a puzzle to be solved.
She never shuts up but she also doesn’t let anyone really engage her in conversation either. As a result her line never slows down for idle chit chat. This has earned her my affection. While she tries to figure out what I am going to cook on any given night when I get home I try to figure out how someone so pretty and smart ended up checking groceries at the supermarket with a tattoo on her neck and face. My puzzle is harder to solve.
Tonight neither of us were going to solve the riddles in front of us. She didn’t have a clue and I didn’t have one either.
“Aren’t you cooking tonight?”
Why did I say that? I was caught off guard. Cherry pie?
“Well, aren’t you motivated!”
As soon as she said it I knew I wasn’t going to make a cherry pie tonight. I know they say things like ‘easy as pie’ to imply making pie is easy but to me its not so. It involves crust making and crust making just seemed like a lot to ask tonight.
Eating them outright was not a consideration. I needed to come up with a blog post and if I ate all the cherries I would just have to think up something else to use and, well, I wasn’t motivated enough for that either. Besides, thinking up something else would mean I would have had to go back to the market and I certainly wasn’t motivated enough for that. In hell you have to go the supermarket twice in the same day, every day.
Perhaps ‘unmotivated’ just another word for ‘lazy’? I would have wallowed in my laziness or even rose up to its challenges and made the damn pie but then I read over at Tasty Trix that some people refer to ‘cobbler’ as ‘pie for the unmotivated’. It got me to thinking that there are still a lot of options available for the unmotivated!
If you find some fruit in your basket and pie seems out of the question you can still make a cobbler, a clafoutis, a crumble, a crisp, a grunt, a slump, a flummery, a buckle and even something called a pandowdy. Oh I almost forgot, you can make a betty too!
I don’t even have to motivation to pretend I know what all the differences are.
As it turned out I did have the motivation to make this crisp. At least I think its a crisp and not a crumble. I also had the motivation to throw in some black pepper at the last minute which was a really good idea as it turned out. It gave the dish some interest without taking over. I’ll be motivated to do this one again.
Black Pepper Cherry Crisp
This is what you will need:
- 4 cups pitted Bing cherries
- 1 T kirsch liqueur
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup crushed sliced almonds
- 3/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unbleached AP flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 6 tablespoons butter
This is how you make it:
- Butter an 8 x 8-inch pan.
- In another bowl pour the kirsch over the cherries and toss well.
- Evenly sprinkle the cornstarch and pepper over the cherries and toss well.
- Mix together almonds, sugar, flour, cinnamon and cardamom; cut in butter till mixture is crumbly.
- Pour topping onto fruit.
- Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, or until fruit bubbles and topping is brown.
This is best served warm, with ice cream or whipped cream. Make it up any time during the day, put in the refrigerator, then bake just whenever you are motivated.
I was not so unmotivated that I could not find the energy to finish it.