It’s cherry season! Time to make possibly one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten, Sour Cherry-Mascarpone Pound Cake from Domenica Marchetti’s cookbook, Big Night In. Moist, dense, rich and just a touch of sour cherry sweetness. The recipe calls for sour cherries it’s just as good with Bing or Rainier cherries. While they are in season, I buy up pints of cherries from the farmers market, pit them and freeze them, 2 cups per quart bag.
My favorite part of this cake? The chewy, crunchy crust on what will be the bottom of the cake. Sometimes it smells so good when it comes out of the oven that I break off pieces of the chewy crust — once it’s inverted on the cake platter no one will ever know I had a little baker’s treat.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more to grease the pan.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more to flour the pan.
2 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted and halved
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
6 large eggs
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces mascarpone or sour cream, at room temperature
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Heat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan and set it aside.
In a small bowl, mix the cherries with 1/2 cup of the sugar. Let the mixture steep while you prepare the batter for the cake.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Set aside.
Put the 1 1/2 cups butter in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat briefly on medium speed to soften. Add the remaining 3 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat at high-speed until light and airy, 5 full minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Change the speed to medium and alternately add the flour-salt mixture and the mascarpone or sour cream, beginning ad ending with the flour mixture. Mix until incorporated.
Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup that collects in the bowl. With a rubber of silicone spatula, fold the cherries into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is gold brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
While the cake is baking, put the reserved cherry syrup in a small saucepan and boil for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Strain and reserve the liquid.
When the cake is done, place the plan on a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan. While it is still warm, brush the top and sides with the warm cherry syrup. The cake will absorb the syrup. Let the cake cool to room temperature.
To serve, transfer the cake to a decorative platter or cake stand. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
- The cake can be made several hours and up to 1 day in advance and kept, tightly wrapped in plastic, at room temperature. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
- When adding in the eggs beat just until mixed in, don’t over beat or you’ll incorporate too much air into the cake.
- Strain the boiled syrup into a 2 cup measuring cup so that you can easily warm it up for 30 seconds in the microwave before brushing on the cake.