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Višnjak : Serbian Cherry Cake December 29, 2011

Posted by Paula Erbay in Desserts.
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I first published this recipe in Serb World USA July/August 2011 issue.  It is part of a series of articles about the 50th anniversary of the Serbian Summer Camp in Jackson, CA.  Read my related articles: “Remembering Our Past through Celebrations” and “Sophia Ducich and the KSS Bake Sales”

8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2cup, plus 1 T sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1T lemon zest, finely grated
2 T lemon juice, fresh
1 tsp. vanilla extract, pure
2 C flour, all-purpose
pinch of salt
10-12 oz cherries, fresh and sweet
powdered sugar to finish

Pit the cherries and cut in half. Set aside.

Separate eggs.

Lightly butter an 8×2-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with wax paper and butter the wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Add the egg yolks, then lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. (I use all the zest from 1 lemon: 1 tablespoon is approximate).  Scrape down the sides to incorporate all, then beat in the flour and mix well to make batter.

In a separate, clean bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form (if doing by hand, use a large balloon whisk). Using a rubber/plastic spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter (about 1/3 of the egg whites at a time), just until all is incorporated.

Gently spread the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pitted cherries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle sugar over the cherries (up to 1T).

Bake at 350 F. for 40-50 minutes. The top should be golden and spring back when gently pressed.

Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a thin blade around the edge, then remove the outer ring of the springform. Allow cake to completely cool before removing bottom and transferring to a serving plate. Sift powdered sugar over the top before serving.

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