The Homegrown Wedding
The Wedding “Cake”

Caty and Justin, in the trees, k-i-s-s-i-n-g...

Caty says, “Our wedding coincided with the height of the local cherry season. It seemed only natural that we use what’s fresh and local. Mom and I spent a couple of days in the kitchen making a variety of cherry dumplings. Then we did a blind taste-test with Justin and he picked the two he loved best. My mom combined the recipes into a masterpiece!”


Cherry Dumplings with Irish Cream



lb fresh sweet cherries



amaretto liqueur



Joanne’s Favorite Crust (below),
divided into 2″ balls and refrigerated



turbinado sugar




T butter



cup brown sugar



T lemon juice




Irish Cream (you can substitute plain cream, whipped cream, or ice cream)



lavender or mint sprigs

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Gently wash and dry cherries and remove pits over a bowl to reserve any captured cherry juice. Place the cherries in a deep pot or bowl and cover with amaretto and reserved cherry juice. Soak for about 2 hours.
  3. Roll out the crust thinly on a floured surface into rough circles about 7″ in diameter.
  4. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and turn over onto a piece of parchment so sugar is on bottom.
  5. Drain the cherries, reserving all the liquid. Put a scoop of cherries onto the center of each crust. Fold the crust up around the cherries, creating a pouch, and pinch the top closed. Leave a little flare like a paper bag squeezed shut.
  6. Place several dumplings on each cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Melt butter in a large pan. Add brown sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add reserved amaretto/cherry juice; stir and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced in volume. Add lemon juice.
  8. Place a dumpling on a dessert plate and spoon sauce around it. Add a drizzle or dollop of cream. Garnish with a spring a lavender or mint.

Note: Dumplings can be prepared up to three days in advance. Reheat them and add warmed sauce, cream, and garnish just before serving.


Joanne’s Favorite Crust


cups flour, divided



t salt



T sugar



T cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼″ pieces



cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces



cup cold vodka



cup cold water

  1. Combine 1½ cups flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Add butter and shortening and process until dough starts to resemble cottage cheese with all the flour coated, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl. Add remaining flour and pulse 4 to 6 times until flour is evenly distributed.
  2. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and sprinkle vodka and water over the dough. Using a rubber spatula, mix with a folding motion, pressing down until dough is tacky.
  3. Divide dough into balls and flatten slightly. Refrigerate at least one hour or up to two days.
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