Ever since cherries have started to make their way to my local farmers market, I've been seriously dreaming of warm cherry cobbler. Oh my god, #want! I am not the biggest dessert person, I admit. But warm cherry cobbler on a cool summer night, with vanilla ice cream melting over the top...wait, where were we? Sorry, I got distracted and started drooling.
If you love sweet stuff, you will like this. But if you aren't a huge dessert person like myself, this might be the one for you. I poach the cherries with star anise, orange and red wine, giving them a spicy and much richer flavor. And a touch of balsamic vinegar knocks it out of the park! It is SO good.
I used another Top Ten wine from Whole Foods but any Bordeaux with luscious cherries and hints of caramel will do.
Pit the cherries. This is a messy procedure. I suggest you do it in the sink or your kitchen might end up looking like a scene from the show Dexter, when it is all said and done. On the other hand, if you are a murderous psychopath, you might not mind the mess. Not judging. NOTE: Peak cherry season in the U.S. is mid-July, so they are coming! Though they have already shown up here in San Francisco. This delicious stone fruit is not only tasty but it is super-high in antioxidants, and a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. And just to put things in perspective, the average tart cherry tree produces about 7,000 cherries a year; a cherry pie only needs about 300 cherries. That's a whole lot of pie!
Add the 2 lbs of pitted cherries, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup red wine, 2 star anise, 1 orange peel and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a sauce pot and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Cook until the sauce becomes thick and the cherries are tender--about 5 minutes.
While the cherries are cooking, combine the 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup sugar (I used a mix of white and brown), 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a large mixing bowl.
Cut in the 5 tablespoons of cold butter using a fork. It is very important that the butter is cold here.
Mix 3 tablespoons of milk into the Greek yogurt and then fold it into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix it. If you do, the topping will be tough and gross. Nobody wants that!
Mix in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the cherry mixture and then pour it into a 9-by-9 pan, removing the star anise and orange peel. Then scoop spoonfuls of the cobbler mixture on top.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes, until browned and bubbly.
Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream!