I remember as a kid that my mom had a friend named Tammy. I just loved her. She always looked pretty, her food was delicious, and she bought me a hair bow once. I guess it's pretty easy to win over a little girl when you've got hair bows! :)
We got this recipe from her, and I always loved it when my mom would make it. That didn't happen often - it was a bit more involved than my busy mom had time for - but it was always such a treat. The cake-like bottom with cherry filling and streusel topping just made me swoon. I don't know why my mom cut it into small little bars - I always ate WAY more than just one serving.
For this recipe, you need tart cherries. I use Oregon brand cherries packed in water - 3 cans provide the perfect amount. Make sure you don't use cherry pie filling!
To make, place flour in the center of a mixing bowl.
Add one cup of sugar around the edge of the flour.
Then, make a well in the flour and add a dash of salt.
Heat a cup of milk in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes (or, if you are using the stovetop, get the milk very warm but not too hot to touch).
Add sugar and yeast to the milk and stir until dissolved.
Pour the milk into the well that you made in the flour. I never make my well big enough and the milk always overflows...that's okay. The recipe still turns out great every time!
Use a fork to mix the milk into the flour and sugar. Some flour and sugar will remain on the sides of the bowl. It's supposed to. Don't worry about getting it all mixed in.
Let your dough rise for about 45 minutes. The top of the dough should appear cracked - that's when you know you're ready for the next step.
Combine an egg and some oil and pour into the dough. Mix, adding more flour if you need to. Spread dough to a lightly floured countertop and knead.
Spread dough into the bottom of a well-greased jelly roll pan. Spread cherries over the top of the dough.
To make crumb topping, combine butter, sugar, and an ingredient called vanilla sugar until creamy. Never heard of vanilla sugar? You can find it at international markets like World Market. Or, if you need to do without, just substitute a splash of vanilla or 1/2 t. of vanilla powder.
Add flour to the butter mixture, and use a fork to mix until crumbly. Using your fingers, sprinkle crumb topping evenly over cherries.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Bake at 200 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn oven to 325 and bake for 30-45 minutes or until light golden brown.
- 3 cans (14.5 oz. each) sour cherries, drained
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup plus 1 T. sugar, divided
- dash salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/3 cup oil
For the crumb topping:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 t. vanilla sugar (or a splash of vanilla or 1/2 t. vanilla powder)
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
Place flour in the center of a large bowl. Add 1 cup sugar around the outer edge of the flour. Make a little well in the center, and add a dash of salt. Heat milk in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Dissolve yeast and 1 T. sugar in milk and stir. Pour into well in center of flour. Use fork to mix - some sugar and some flour will stay on the sides of the bowl. Let rise for 45 minutes; dough will appear cracked. Combine egg and oil; pour into dough and stir. Gather dough in the bowl, adding more flour if necessary. Knead dough on a lightly floured counter. Spread dough on a greased cookie sheet. Spread cherries over the dough.To make crumb topping, combine butter, vanilla sugar, and sugar until creamy. Add flour and crumble by hand or fork. Sprinkle over top of cherries. Preheat oven on lowest setting. Bake cake in oven on lowest setting (warm) for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 325 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until light golden brown, checking after 30 minutes.