Baked Sunday Mornings: Sour Cherry Slump

I started seeing tart cherries at the farmer's market at the end of June. I know that the season for sour cherries is short and I also knew that a Sour Cherry Slump was coming up on the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule this week, so I made the slump at the very beginning of July when tart cherries were still plentiful.

I've never made a slump before. It's very much like a cobbler -- fruit under a biscuit topping -- except that it is cooked entirely on the stovetop instead of in the oven. The biscuit dough is a mixture of flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, melted butter, and sour cream. The fruit portion of the recipe is pitted sour cherries (the recipe calls for two pints, which was 530 grams when I weighed it out), granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. You bring the fruit mixture to a boil in a covered cast-iron skillet; add dollops of the biscuit mixture and sprinkle on coarse sugar; cover the pan again; and cook on low heat until the biscuit dough is cooked through. We have a Kuhn Rikon Smart Lid that was useful for this project because it created a tight seal but let me watch what was going on in the pan through the glass.
I served the slump hot with barely sweetened whipped cream. I think that whipped cream (or ice cream) is a necessity. For me, this dessert was just okay. I love sour cherries and cobblers. But something was lacking in this slump -- the texture and flavor that you would get from the biscuits if the pan had been baked in the oven instead of steamed on the stove. After all, the best part of desserts like cobbers and crisps is always the topping. And here I thought the biscuit dough was dense and didn't have much flavor.
I did end up at least eating all of the cherry portion of the slump, but the steamed biscuit dough didn't do anything for me. I loved the idea of being able to make a dessert like this on the stovetop, but I liked the idea much more than the reality.

Recipe: "Sour Cherry Slump" from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Previous Post: "Baked Sunday Mornings: Cherry Almond Crisp," February 15, 2015.