Life isn’t fair sometimes. We make plans as if we have forever, but our time is so short and we forget. We forget to treat moments with our loved ones as special, as something we want to cherish. Michael always says to me, “I’ll never have enough time with you.” From the man I love who travels a lot, those simple words mean more to me than anything else he could say. But I sometimes forget that he’s right, that we’ll never have enough time together.
Like many others, I was stunned by the news of the sudden death of Jennifer Perillo’s husband. I was fortunate to meet Jennie and spend a day with her last year when we went to the Martha Stewart Show, and she was just so friendly and fun to be around. We plotted breaking into Martha’s set kitchen and secretly cooking a meal, talked about food, our kids, our husbands who share the same name. She’s such a lovely, talented woman, and I cannot imagine the pain that she and her girls are going through right now. I wish I could be there to help somehow, but distance sometimes gets in the way whether we like it or not.
So I’m sending this note of caring to Jennie from across the miles, along with a virtual cherry pudding cake. Cherries always make me smile, and though things are tough, really tough for Jennie and her family right now, I hope the cherries make her smile, too, and I hope she feels how much we all love and support her.
If you like cherries but don’t like to bake, this recipe will change your mind. Simply put the cherries in the greased baking dish, stir together the batter, sprinkle a little sugar and cornstarch on top, and pour in a cup of boiling hot water. Then you bake it. That’s it. And enjoy it with people you love.
CHERRY PUDDING CAKE
Adapted from Ann Meyers’ Blueberry Pudding Cake.
9-inch square baking dish, greased
large cookie sheet, covered in foil
2 medium mixing bowls
2 pounds (~900 g) sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted, or thawed from frozen
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup (120 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups (263 g) granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (120 ml) lowfat milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F/175° C and set an oven rack in the middle.
2. In one of the bowls, toss the cherries with the cinnamon and lemon juice. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
3. In the other bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, and baking powder. Stir in the milk and melted butter. The batter will be very thick. Spoon over the cherries.
4. In the same bowl, stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch and sprinkle over the batter. Slowly pour the boiling water all over the pan. The water will rise up and pool, but it will combine with the batter as it cooks.
5. Place the foil-covered sheet underneath the cherry pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until the cake tests done and is golden and a little crunchy on top. Allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes, then serve warm with ice cream.