My sister-in-law, nephew and great-nephew just went cherry picking and have immediate use for this recipe, so, I am taking some liberty and adding it here now, before my cherry tree has matured enough to bear fruit. This is a beautiful, delicious bread, based on a recipe for blackberry-apple bread I found on joyofbaking.com (they got it from Nigella Lawson), but I have added my own twists to it.
First, prepare the dough and egg wash:
1/2 cup milk, warmed to lukewarm
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 package (3/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg (from Farmer Kim)
1/2 cup unsaltedbutter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon cream
1 egg (from Farmer Kim)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
This is a good recipe to use a standing mixer for. In the mixer, stir together the milk, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy. Add the flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and salt and beat until combined. Add the egg and beat the dough for a few minutes. Using the dough hook, and with the mixer running, add small pieces of the softened butter, continuing to knead the dough for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is soft and silky feeling. This took my dough a little longer.
Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel, and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (this will take about 1 1/2 – 2 hours). Then punch the dough down and, on a lightly floured surface, roll or press into a 13 x 9 inch rectangle. Transfer to a buttered or parchment lined baking sheet (I prefer parchment). Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg and cinnamon for the egg wash. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the surface of the dough with the egg wash. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
While the dough is rising, wash and pit 2 cups of firm, ripe cherries
Using your favorite apple, which for me, this year has been Fuji – they have been perfect! Peel and dice 1 apple, sprinkle with lemon juice and set the fruit aside.
Make the streussel:
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or 2 knives cut in the butter until the mixture is lumpy. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. When the dough has doubled in size, once again lightly brush the surface with the egg wash. Evenly place the cherries and diced apple on the dough and then sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake for about 35 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 – 8