P. Dizzy posted a comment asking about food pairings, so I’ll labor to be nothing if not responsive. He asked about krieks (Belgian lambic with cherries) specifically. I suggested that this would work well as an apertif, as well as with dessert. Whatever you do, enjoy it with someone you care about, as it’s a special treat of a beer.
Chocolate and cherries, anyone? It would be great leaning against its own flavors served alongside a cherry cheese cake. And I said I’d track down a recipe…
The fact is recipes are a lot like the Blues. They’re rooted in history, and pretty heavily adapted, springboarded or downright stolen. I do a lot of adapting to my available ingredients and personal tastes. I try not to do much stealing. This recipe’s origins start in Mollie Katzen’s The New Moosewood Cookbook. Generally, I haven’t liked too much of her stuff, but my wife and a food geek friend of mine like Katzen. I do like this recipe, though what I’m listing here is what my wife does. We toast the almonds. Molly does not. Ours has to be better.
4 cups pitted cherries
1 1/2 T cornstarch
4 T sugar
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
3/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (reserve a few for garnish)
1. Toast almonds on stove top and set aside.
2. Cook cherries over medium heat, covered, for 10 minutes.
3. Combine cornstarch and sugar in a small boil, then whisk in lemon juice. Stir into hot cherries and cook until thick, stirring frequently (5-8 minutes).
4. Off heat, stir in lemon rind, almond extract and toasted almonds. Top with whipped cream and garnish each serving with toasted almonds.
For the last two years, this has become our Valentine’s Day dessert, and great with a good kriek. En-freakin’-joy!