Gina Ferwerda is Back in the Heritage House

Our dear friend of ‘the four’, Gina Ferwerda, is back in the Heritage House Kitchen to bring us more things cherry to help us celebrate and get in the cherry spirit here at 9&10 News.

She came on to bring us a healthy cherry salad as well as some delightful cherry brownies to help curb that sweet tooth.

Here are the full recipes:

Triple Cherry Brownies 

Serves 12

Cherry Pie Filling

  • 1 cup fresh tart cherries, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Brownies

  • 1 (21-ounce) box brownie mix and all ingredients listed on the back (usually eggs, oil and water)
  • ¼ cup black sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries

PREPARE CHERRY PIE FILLING

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add cherries, cornstarch, sugar, water, almond extract and lemon juice. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool.

PREPARE BROWNIES

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare the brownie mix, according to the instructions on the box.

ASSEMBLE

  • Gently fold in the cherry pie filling and cherries, mix thoroughly and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean.
  • Garnish with extra cherry pie filling and serve!

NOTE

  • If using frozen cherries, let thaw completely. Make sure the cherry filling thickens and cools before adding to brownie mixture.

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Michigan Cherry Salad

(With Maple-Cayenne Candied Walnuts and Cherry-Balsamic Vinaigrette)

Serves 6

“This is my take on a Michigan cherry salad. At every restaurant in Michigan, you will see a cherry salad on the menu. The basics are dried cherries, salad greens, candied nuts, blue cheese and/or gorgonzola. I like to do the candied cayenne walnuts to add a little sweet heat. We grow spicy Asian greens for a short time here in the summer, but if those aren’t available, feel free to substitute your favorite leafy greens. I love this dressing so much that I always keep it on hand.”

Maple-Cayenne Candied Walnuts

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon Michigan maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces chopped walnuts (about ¾ cup)
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

Cherry-Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup cherry preserves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 16 ounces Asian mixed greens (substitute: any fresh field greens)
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onions
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Fresh Michigan black sweet cherries, pitted and halved, for garnish (if in season)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

MAKE MAPLE-CAYENNE CANDIED WALNUTS

  • In a small saucepan, add butter, maple syrup, vanilla, sugar, cayenne, salt and walnuts. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour walnuts onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until walnuts are caramelized. Let cool.

PREPARE BACON

  • In a small skillet, add bacon and cook over medium-high heat for 9 to 11 minutes, or until done but not too crispy. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.

MAKE CHERRY-BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

  • In a small bowl, whisk together vinegars, mustard and cherry preserves. Slowly pour in olive oil, continually whisking until everything is well incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

ASSEMBLE

  • Add mixed greens and dried cherries to a large bowl. Add bacon, onion slices and blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle dressing over greens and top with black sweet cherries, when in season. Toss and serve.

Click here for more on Gina and her book “Meals from the Mitten”.

Categories: the four