Cherry Desserts Honor George Washington

 

Best Cherry Desserts

It’s no lying! There are hundreds of delicious desserts that can be created from cherries. George Washington’s Birthday on February 22nd is a great excuse to indulge without the guilt. That’s because tart cherries, a dark red fruit, are on today’s hot list of super foods. Plenty of research indicates tart cherries as having anti-inflammatory value, reducing pain from gout and arthritis. Heart health benefits are also linked to the cherries.

Tart red cherries are packed with antioxidants. Foods and beverages rich in them are trendy with today’s health conscious people. Thanks to research we know that anti-oxidants, as the term implies, attacks damaging oxidation in animal tissue. They contain vitamins, minerals and enzymes (proteins that assist in chemical reactions) thought to prevent the development of several chronic diseases including cancer.

Cherries Jubilee Recipe

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Cherries Jubilee is a flambeed fruit dessert following the footsteps of Bananas Foster. Auguste Escoffier is credited with the creation of this elegant dessert preparing it for one of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations. Although elegant it is really quite easy and involves the igniting of a liquor. The following recipe, courtesy of Paula Deen of Savannah, Georgia uses brandy and either fresh or frozen* cherries.

Ingredients for Cherries Jubilee

  1. 1/2 stick of butter
  2. 1/4 cup of butter
  3. 1 TBS cornstarch
  4. 16 ounces fresh or frozen cherries
  5. 1/4 cup brandy

 

 

Directions for Cherries Jubilee

Drain reserve juice. Melt the butter in a saute pan. Stir in sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually stir in the cherry juice. The mix will thicken as it boils. Pour in the brandy. With a long match or grill lighter light the brandy. The idea is to burn off the alcohol. Remove from heat and add cherries. Cool slightly. Serve over ice cream. Easy, elegant and delicious.

Drain reserve juice. Melt the butter in a saute pan. Stir in sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually stir in the cherry juice. The mix will thicken as it boils. Pour in the brandy. With a long match or grill lighter light the brandy. The idea is to burn off the alcohol. Remove from heat and add cherries. Cool slightly. Serve over ice cream. Easy, elegant and delicious.

* fresh, frozen and dried cherries all have health benefits of antioxidants.

Cherry Pie Filling

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Here is an easy way to make your own cherry pie filling.

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling

  • four cups of pitted tart cherries
  • one cup of white sugar
  • one-fourth cup of corn starch.

Directions for Homemade Cherry Pie filling

  1.  Place the pitted cherries in a saucepan over medium heat and cover the pan.
  2. Heat the cherries until they release their juice and begin to simmer, about 10-15 minutes. Stir often.
  3. In a bowl whisk the sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into the hot cherries and juice combining thoroughly. Return to low heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until it thickens (about two minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and cool.

Use the pie filling that you make for baking fresh cherry pies, tarts and turnovers. It is easy to make and is so much better than the canned pie filling with the added ingredients of high fructose syrup and colorings.

Easy Cherry Cobbler

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Make a delicious buttery cherry cobbler with this easy to follow recipe from Cooks.com.

Ingredients for Easy Cherry Cobbler

  • one stick of butter
  • 20 ounce can sweet cherries
  • one cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • a dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup of milk

Directions for Easy Cherry Cobbler

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in an 8 x 11-inch baking pan on the stove top.
  3. In a bowl combine the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt, baking powder and milk.
  4. Pour this mixture over the butter in the pan and spread it evenly with a spoon.
  5. Add the cherries including the juice. Sprinkle the one-fourth cup of remaining sugar on top. Bake one hour or until golden brown. (mine was ready in 50 minutes).

Cherries and Washington’s Birthday

How did this tasty superfood become associated with the Founding Father? For years school children around the country have read the legend and colored pictures of Washington the lad with a hatchet and a cherry tree. Young George supposedly had a shiny new hatchet that he was quite fond of. Becoming over zealous he chopped his father’s favorite tree, a cherry tree causing it great damage. When asked, George replied, ” I can not tell a lie Father, it is I who chopped the tree.” His father decided that George’s honesty meant more than any tree and doled out minimal punishment.

A Lie About a Lie

It turns out that The Legend of the Cherry Tree was created by Mason Locke Weems, a parson who wrote a biography titled The Life of Washington published in 1809. An earlier biography portraying our first leader as cold, stern and boring had not sold well. Weems made up the legend in an attempt to humanize Washington and add color to his staunchness while emphasizing his honesty and dutiful character.

Washington was neither Democrat nor Republican. He claimed the Independent party throughout his presidency but was strongly influenced by the Federalist party. Federalists were accused by the mostly southern Republican-Democrat party as being too “buddy-buddy” with the British Monarchy. The Federalists were comprised of mostly bankers and businessmen interested in a fiscally secure nation. Had Washington been born into today’s political world he would most likely be a strong conservative Republican.

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George Washington Fun Facts

  1. Annual salary was $25,000
  2. Had to borrow money to attend his
  3. own inauguration in NYC
  4. Had only one tooth when sworn into office
  5. Had no children of his own, father to Martha’s
  6. Was 6’3” weighed 200 lbs
  7. He wore size 13 boot
  8. Only president to win Electoral College unanimously
  9. Left school at age 15 to become a surveyor
  10. Birth date is from an old calendar and is actually Feb.11th

 

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