There is nothing better than enjoying summer-picked fruit in the dead of winter.  Last summer I picked 45 pounds of cherries.  We dried cherries and made Black Forest preserves, fruit leather, cherry jam, cherry preserves and frozen pie cherries.  I love grabbing a bag of gorgeous sour cherries out of the freezer on a frigid February day, and this year I came up with the perfect recipe for them.

This cobbler is adapted from the 1997 edition of The Joy of Cooking "Blueberry Cobbler with Sour Cream Biscuits".

Cherry Cobbler with Almond Biscuits
5 cups pitted sour cherries
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of allspice

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons cold, salted butter, cut into small pieces*
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk, half and half, or heavy cream
1/2 cup slivered almonds or almond slices
1 teaspoon almond extract

Spread the cherries on the bottom of a 9 x 11 baking dish.  Sprinkle the sugar, allspice and cornstarch over the top of the cherries and mix to combine.  In a separate mixing bowl, blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add the cold pieces of butter and blend quickly with fingers until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs.  In a separate bowl mix together the sour cream, almond extract and half and half.  Gently combine the sour cream mixture and the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.  Fold in almonds.  Drop biscuit mixture by tablespoons on top of the cherry filing.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cherries are bubbly and the biscuits are browned. 

You must serve this with good vanilla ice cream.  That is all.

*I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter because I omit the salt in the recipe.
When friends visit my home they often ask me why I keep three copies of The Joy of Cooking in my kitchen.  I have and use the 1975 edition, the 1997 edition and the recent 75th anniversary edition, published in 2006.  Each is useful for different reasons. 

The oldest edition includes a recipe for a Rhubarb Custard Pie (page 652) that I have baked every spring since my marriage.  You can also find classic recipes for "opossum", porcupine, muskrat, woodchuck and beaver, including a separate recipe for beaver tail.  Seriously?  Seriously.  I enjoy reading these recipes for entertainment, but hey, one never knows when they might have to cook a porcupine, and when the shit hits the fan, I'll be ready.

With sections like "Cook for a Day, Eat for a Week", "Crowd-Size Recipes", and "30-Minute Recipes", the 75th Anniversary edition of Joy is a useful, enormous cookbook for people who cook on a daily basis.  I also appreciate that the Rombauer-Beckers added many ethnic recipes to this edition, including Indian dishes like "Keema Alu"(page 515) and "Raita" (page 567). 

Now the 1997 edition of Joy is my go-to cookbook and it shows.  I've cooked more recipes out of this cookbook than any other cookbook I own.  Drop it on the floor and it's likely to open to page 795, "Basic Pancakes".  To me, they are the perfect pancakes.  Sweet and custardy, I have to make a double batches of these since my 6 year old can eat 6 pancakes. 

Other classics from this edition include "Turned Roasted Chicken" (page 580) and :"Custard Topped Spoon Bread" (page 779).  Oh, and "Candied Corned Beef" (pge 677).  I'm getting there.  I'm getting there.

Candied Corned Beef might sound weird, but think of it like a glazed ham and it's not so far fetched.  Basically, after boiling a corned beef until tender you bake it with a sweet glaze that ends up crunchy and delicious.  I love serving this with sweet potato fries and green beans.

Glazed Corned Beef (adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Optional additions might include fresh ginger, alspice, or ground coriander)

Mix it up.  Smear it over your corned beef.  Slide it in a 350 degree oven where it can hang out until golden brown.  Slice thinly before serving.