Monday, June 29, 2009

Cornbread Dumplings with Brandied Cherry Sauce

We bought a bunch of fresh cherries yesterday. The weather has been so amazing here for the past month that all the local fruit has arrived early! I decided to modify a recipe I saw in the latest Rachel Ray magazine and make this cherry concoction with cornbread dumplings.


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons cup brown sugar
1 1/4 pounds cherries, pitted (4 cups)
Zest of one orange
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon cornstarch, whisked with a a little water until smooth*

1 cup corn flour or cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar**
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, combine 4 tablespoons butter with brown sugar and orange zest and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Stir in cherries and brandy and simmer until cherries are softened. Add cornstarch mixture and cook until liquid thickens. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together corn flour, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in buttermilk and egg.

In the microwave, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir into batter until smooth. Drop batter over cherry mixture to make dumplings. Cover and seal skillet with tinfoil and cook in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven when dumplings are done (toothpick stuck in to test) and let cool.

*Only add this if you want to thicken up the sauce. The cornbread does a nice job soaking up the cherry juice without this addition but I like to add it just to thicken it a bit.

**I accidentally left the brown sugar out of the cornbread dumplings and didn't notice until I was retyping this recipe. So, if you want to sweeten them up a bit go ahead and add this but in my opinion, it's fine without it.

Makes 8 servings.

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