The nice people at Sam’s Club asked me if I would be interested in participating in their “Mouthwatering Cherry Cobbler Challenge”. I happen to love cherry cobbler and a challenge. I also happen to think that I have a pretty fantastic recipe, if-I-do-say-so-myself. They were kind enough to send me a Sam’s Club membership (can you believe this was my first time in a Sam’s Club?), a gift card, and some cobbler creating essentials. I had planned on serving my cobbler at a summer party, but unfortunately, we lost power for 6 days, and it did not happen. As soon as the power was back on and we cleaned up the big ol’ mess, we headed into the car and spent some time exploring our neighborhood Sam’s Club.
We took our pre-paid membership card to get ourselves a real card at customer service, and when I showed my military ID to the nice cashier, she told me that they were running a promotion for military members that were joining. She gave me a $15 gift card. Score! We took a stroll around the store, had a sample or two, and found what we were looking for, the Northwest cherries. They were restocking the case as we pulled up, and we got two super fresh containers of the most beautifully deep burgundy cherries. We grabbed some butter, and few other things that we needed (I love that they have a restaurant section, I bought some half sheet pans, usually I have to go to a restaurant supply store to get them) and hit the checkout. It was lunchtime, so we grabbed a piece of pizza and a drink and went home to work on our cherry cobbler.
This recipe is a hybrid of about 3 different recipes. I adore the combination of cherry and almond, so I created this recipe on that combination. Imagine juicy cherries scented with a splash of amaretto, topped with a crunchy almond crust. And finished with a little vanilla ice cream and a touch of cinnamon whipped cream. This is divine.
1 package Sam’s Club Northwest Cherries
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1 Tablespoons amaretto
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup butter, cold
whipped cream (plus a pinch of cinnamon)
Rinse the gorgeous Northwest cherries. You are going to need to pit all of these babies. I use this cherry pitter, you can do 4 at a time. While I do not think that the construction lends itself to become a heirloom, it does the job.
Sprinkle the cherries with sugar, tapioca, and amaretto. Let stand for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and again.
Pour the cherries into a 2 quart casserole dish (or a 9×13).
Start on the crumb. Add the flour, sugars, salt, and oatmeal to the food processor. Pulse.
Add chunks of butter and almond extract.
Pulse until it comes together.
Spread the crumb topping over the cherries. Sprinkle almond slices all over. I like to put a baking sheet underneath, just in case it bubbles over. I bought a few of my favorite half sheet pans while I was at Sam’s. One of my favorite cooking tools, I have about 8 of them now. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When I was in Chicago, we had a berry shortcake with the most delicious combination of whipped cream and ice cream inside. Just a teeny bit of each, but the texture ended up being so good, that I went into the kitchen to ask the chef about it. He said that he adds the smallest pinch of cinnamon to the whipped cream. It was so subtle that I knew there was something in it, but I did not know that it was cinnamon. I did the same thing here, and it had the same sort of magic.
While it might seem a little indulgent to have both whipped cream and ice cream (and I ain’t gonna lie, it is) on top of your cherry cobbler, I assure you, it is worth it. Even if it means a little extra time on the treadmill.