Our pie cherry week(s) (season is too long to actually describe it) finally arrived in Seattle, I know most everyone else had their go in June and pie cherries are but a distant memory at this point. But with only one shot with them, I split the difference and made a sour cherry compote and a coffee cake. And now we know who’s been hoarding all the pie cherries, because I thought, “OMG – it really does taste like canned cherry pie filling!”
Be warned, they take effort, even more effort than regular cherries. Especially if you don’t have a proper cherry pitter. But Internet to the rescue, you can use a straw. It does work, and one site claims that Subway straws are the best for pitting cherries. I can’t vouch for that, but I can tell you, it took two straws to do 2 lbs. of cherries.
Onto the coffee cake. It’s a Whole Foods recipe that uses whole wheat pastry flour. My only tweaks were to sub in the cherries for blueberries and replace the vanilla extract with almond. A couple of tips:
1. Use regular yogurt, not Greek. It needs the moisture in regular, unstrained yogurt. When I have substituted Greek yogurt and then tried to make up the moisture with a couple of tablespoons of milk, it’s a guessing game that can lead you to overmix.
Which leads me to tip #2:
2.Don’t overmix the batter. The cake will get tough.
So what good does this do you, if sour cherry week is past? Blueberry season isn’t over yet, and that version of this coffee cake is fantastic, too.