July Third Thursday: I cannot tell a lie July 15, 2010Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Cooking Challenge, random stuff, Third Thursday.
Tags: Cooking, Food, Third Thursday
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It’s the third week of July – the summer is half over already!
And, while it seems that it’s been a particularly hot summer already here in upstate New York, that just means that everything is coming into season earlier – and not staying in season for very long!
Tart cherries have such a fleeting season as it is – they’re here, and then they’re gone until next year so I’ve learned to grab them when I can.
Just not out loud. Or not very loud, anyway.
It was inspired, I’m telling you.
Now, if you’re thinking this looks sort of familiar, you’d be right. I did make a schiacciata con l’uva for last October’s Third Thursday.
This is totally not the same thing.
For one thing, there’s cherries!
And this time I took the seeds out!
Not to mention a completely different recipe.
Oh, sure, there’s the rosemary- infused olive oil – 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary steeped in 1/3 cup of olive oil.
But, as I made it, I realized that the focaccia itself was totally different than that earlier version.
Where last year’s grape bread was rich and sweet, this one, with half the oil and half the sugar, was much leaner.
And maybe I should have used the stand mixer – I had an awful time following the directions – which were to combine the dry ingredients, then add water, adding more water as needed during kneading.
Um, are you supposed to use the “muffin method” for bread?
I did like the idea of kind of folding the fruit right into the bread – it would incorporate the cherries better, wouldn’t it?
And I tried. Oh, how I tried! But the cherries just kept sort of . . . slithering out of the dough.
There was no way I was going to be able to make this work.
Maybe I just didn’t knead it enough, I don’t know.
I probably should have dragged out the stand mixer.
So I’m not going to lie here.
I totally stopped following the directions at this point.
I mean, here I had this bread dough. And close to a pound of cherries – cherries that were slightly floured and yeasty, sort of. (I kind of squoze them out of the dough that they refused to incorporate into anyway.)
Fine. I’ll just wing it from here.
So I split the dough in half and spread half onto a parchment-lined pie pan.
A brushing of the rosemary olive oil, then sprinkle about 2/3 of the cherries over the dough, then top with a drizzle of honey, and we’re ready to stretch the other half of the dough on top and pinch the sides together.
Top with the remainder of the cherries, pressing down to “crush” the fruit, then another drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of chopped rosemary (some of the stuff that I salvaged from the olive oil, actually).
I don’t remember exactly how long I baked this – I want to say it was about half an hour, though.
Here’s the thing.
I was sadly disappointed. I made this while Peeps’s mom was here, and I was truly hoping to dazzle her with a fabulous cherry dish, and it sort of . . .didn’t dazzle.
Maybe if I’d used the original, richer recipe, it would have been better.
Maybe the cherries just weren’t juicy enough for this sort of thing – though, judging by the juice running down my arms when I was pitting them, I find that possibility kind of unlikely.
Or perhaps they weren’t sweet enough – after our first slice, I ended up drizzling yet more honey over the bread, hoping to sweeten the flavor. Maybe sweet cherries would have been a better choice.
Or it’s possible that maybe I just screwed something up.
But you know what?
With a smear of cream cheese, it still wasn’t half bad.
If you’d like to play along with our Third Thursday challenge, leave a comment with a link to (or description of) your Third Thursday project – tell us what you’re up to! For loose guidelines, or if you want to check out some past Thursdays, they’re right here!