I’m so thrilled that our local farmer’s market has returned to its outdoor location for the summer (yes, we are lucky enough to host a market that comes to us year round!). And I’m equally thrilled to bring back my “to market” feature.
Case in point?
Oh how I love cherries. Their season is short but I try to make the most of it – in savory dishes, right out of the bowl, and of course, in baking. I even broke my “no single use” rule and splurged last year on a cherry pitter at Smorgasburg.
Cherry recipes typically fall into the cobbler/pie/clafoutis category. Not really a fan of these. And then I came across these cherry brown butter bars from my blove, Smitten Kitchen. She cleverly adapted the original recipe, swapping raspberries for cherries, and a fluted tart pan for a square – making the whole thing more modern, yet casual all at the same time.
And did you catch the brown butter? I like brown butter.
Cherry Brown Butter Bars
from Smitten Kitchen
(New to baking? Read my post on baking tips and tricks to get you started.)
7 T. butter
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1 c. plus 1 T. flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 c. flour
1 t. vanilla
1 pound sweet cherries, pitted (yields 12 ounces of pitted cherries – I used 30 for this recipe)**
Make the crust:
Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut parchment paper into two 8″ x 12″ sheets. Place the sheets, perpendicular to one another (so that they overlap), in an 8″ x 8″ baking pan.
Melt 7 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Mix in the sugar and vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir till incorporated. Transfer the dough to your prepared pan, pressing evenly across the bottom with your fingertips. Bake until golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool in pan (do not turn off your oven). Clean out your saucepan.
Make the filling:
Cook butter in your cleaned-out saucepan over medium heat until it turns a deep nutty brown – stir often and watch carefully to avoid burning. Immediately pour the butter into a glass measuring cup and cool slightly.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Continue to whisk, adding the sugar and salt. Still whisking, add the flour and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the browned butter. Arrange the pitted cherries in the bottom of the crust, in a pattern of 5 across by 6 down. Pour the browned butter mixture slowly and evenly over the cherries. Bake until filling is puffed and golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (about 40 minutes). Cool bars completely in the pan on a rack.
Using your parchment paper, carefully remove the cooled bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into squares with a very sharp knife (according to Smitten: “The cherries, if they fall over your slicing lines, will want to give you trouble but if you saw a sharp knife into them slowly before pressing down, they’ll cut neatly and with minimum carnage”).
Store in the fridge if keeping for more than a day.
**No cherry pitter? Read this post over at the lovely blog Cafe Johnsonia, on how to pit cherries without one!