Over the weekend I got a good deal on 4+ pounds of bing cherries, and despite devouring them as if they were bon bons, I decided it would be a good thing to turn them into something that was a little less perishable (we just couldn't keep up with all those cherries!).
Because I'm not too fond of cobbler, I went to an familiar recipe for Blueberry Breakfast Bars from Farmgirl Fare. I make these a few times a year, and we devour them in the brevity of a few days.
Unlike blueberries, which require virtually no work at all, I needed to pit the cherries. And without a cherry pitting tool, my hands did the dirty work.
One can't be vain when pitting cherries, though I have no hand-vanity anyway since I just can't seem to break the nail-biting habit (gross, I know).
After pitting about 3lbs of the cherries, they were ready to go into the breakfast bars.
These bars are made in 3 layers--a bottom crust, a middle fruit layer, and a top layer of crumble (or whatever you call that). I assure you they won't be around for long, in fact Mr. Geek just finished the last one at lunch today. I'm so sad right now, but at least I can relive their deliciousness here for you.
Cherry-Blueberry Breakfast Bars (adapted from Farmgirl Fare's recipe)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tbsp (1 stick + 2 Tbsp) butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups fresh bing cherries, pitted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I used Smart Balance)
Heat the oven to 425 degrees and get out a 9" x 13" pan. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Add the melted butter and vanilla and mix until combined.
Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers. Because it's so buttery, it should be able to be pushed around easily.
Prepare the middle, fruit layer. Toss the cleaned, pitted cherries and blueberries with the 3 tbsp of flour and sugar. I know it doesn't look so appetizing here, but trust me, once it's baked it is divine. The flour and sugar and cherry juices will thicken into a sweet sauce.
Spread the fruit over the bottom crust and set aside.
For the crumb topping, mix the remaining dry ingredients (flour/brown sugar) together in a bowl and add the butter (or Smart Balance).
Witha pastry blender, fork, or even your fingers until you get pea-sized crumbs.
Sprinkle this over the fruit layer, and then pop it in the oven. Bake it at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is browned.
Cool in the pan or on a wire rack, and store in a cool place. I put mine in the fridge, which makes it easier to cut and helps it last a little longer. You can also freeze them. Enjoy!
In addition to cherries in the belly, I have them on the brain too, and found inspiration in their round plumpness. I embroidered this pair the other day.
Not sure what it'll become, any suggestions?