Eating Greeneville

Farming, bartering and foraging for meals in East Tennessee.

Twice as Nice Cherry Dessert Night.

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If you aren’t on top of your game, cherry season will pass you by with the blink of an eye (pesky birds).  That’s why I decided to double my pleasure this week with  Toasted Coconut and Cherry Ice Cream and Sour Cherry Crisp.  I am a big fan of jammin’ but this year, I enjoy cherries fresh.

Sweet cherries.  Ripe for ice cream.

Sweet cherries. Ripe for ice cream.

I’m not gonna lie, there is not much going on these days at the Greeneville Farmer’s Market but I have been checking it out every Saturday because a girl has got to get her fresh eggs!  I love vegetables and fruits but you people can keep your chickens.  There are some things I am just plain happy to pay a fellow farmer for and eggs and meat are a few of those things.

It just so happens that the woman I have been buying extremely delicious eggs from had sour cherries (pie cherries) from the tree in her yard last week.  I bought 2 quarts for only 5 dollars!  Then, shortly after a friend left me a bowl of sweet cherries after lunch at my house.  With an abundance of cherries at the house and plans with the boyfriend for the weekend, I went cherry dessert crazy.

I have to confess, I don’t eat desserts.  I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth.  Though lemon desserts and dark bitter chocolate will always get me.  However, I LOVE baking.  Especially pies and crisps.  I also love making ice cream so much that I have 3 different ice cream makers.  Two antique hand cranks and a 2 quart Cuisinart electric.

This ice cream recipe was made for the 2 quart machine.  You can double or triple it as you like.

Sweet Cherry and Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted *

1 cup whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla

zest of 1 lemon

1 cup pitted sweet cherries, roughly chopped

Heat milk in a saucepan on medium.  Meanwhile, whisk together sugar and eggs.  When milk is just bubbling but below boiling, temper into egg mixture.  Ladle one scoop at a time of hot milk into eggs, whisking the whole time.  After about 3 ladles, pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan and whisk on medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Cherry custard, ready to churn.

Cherry custard, ready to churn.

When custard is thick, immediately add the vanilla and whipping cream and transfer to a chilled bowl and into the refrigerator.  Let cool completely.

Just before adding to ice cream maker, add zest of one lemon and cherries.  Churn to the specifications of the ice cream maker.

* To toast coconut flakes, just place them in a saute pan and turn the heat on medium.  Leave the pan dry, just the flakes.  Keep an eye on the flake and turn them with a spatula until they are very fragrant and slightly browned.

Sour Cherry Crisp

This is my kinda dessert, very tart and slightly sweet.  Plus, I love making crisps for a crowd because they are so easy!

1.5 sticks of salted butter, diced small

3/4 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar


2 quarts sour cherries, pitted

1.5 cups sugar

2 tablespoons 2 minute tapioca

zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a Cuisinart, combine butter, oatmeal, flour, spices and sugar.  Pulse until combined and butter is slightly smaller than pea sized bits.  You can also just use a pastry cutter and combine in a bowl or even just with your fingers.

Meanwhile in a baking dish (I use a square pan but a 10 inch cast iron would be great too) combine the cherries, sugar, tapioca and lemon zest.  Spread oatmeal mixture evenly over top.  Bake for 35 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees or until the cherries are bubbling and the top is slightly browned.  Serve with sweet cherry ice cream!

C herry Crisp, ready to serve.

C herry Crisp, ready to serve.


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