In late spring when the first cherries would appear at the Dallas farmers' market, my mom would sing her little cherry ditty: "Cherries are ripe..." Granted, it doesn't sound like much—it's only a 3-word phrase—and she did sing it much more often than as an annual welcome to the little stone fruit, but I can't look at cherries anymore without hearing her singsong voice.
Cherries are finally making an appearance at Bay Area farmers' markets, and starting to taste less like watery insipid blobs and more like juicy flavorful sweet little gems.
While I typically like to eat my cherries out of hand, I will eat any fruit baked, especially if it's surrounded by pastry, custard, or cake. So what happens when you merge all three and throw in some cherries? You get a heavenly, crispy-on-the-outside, custardy on the inside, pancakey Cherry Oven Pancake.
Modeled after the German apple oven pancake (also known as a Dutch baby), this incredibly easy, impressive dessert is as much science experiment as it is full-on delicious. Into the oven goes a thin batter, and out comes a big puffy surprise. Make sure you call your kids, your guests, or at least your dog in to see it as you pull it from the oven so they will be in awe of your culinary prowess.