My first ever trip to Hungary coincided with cherry season. Ever since, when I think cherries, I crave this sour cherry cake that Gábor’s mother bakes throughout the summer.
Meggyes Leppény (Sour Cherry Cake)1.5 hours Total prep and baking time Serves 10-12
- 200 grams (slightly more than ¾ cup) plus 2 tablespoons sugar (If you are using sweetened preserved cherries, skip the extra 2 tablespoons of sugar)
- 100 grams (7 tablespoons) butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
- 150 ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 600 grams (21 ounces) ground walnuts
- Grated zest of one lemon
- 5 tablespoons apricot jam
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 250 grams (1 2/3 cups) plus two tablespoons flour
- 1 kilogram (a little over 2 pounds) fresh sour cherries, pitted (or preserved cherries if fresh aren’t available)
- Preheat oven to 200° C (400° F). Grease a 22 x 30 cm (13” x 9”) baking pan (or a shallower one, if you prefer) with butter and sprinkle with flour.
- In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons flour, two tablespoons sugar (skip the sugar if you are using sweetened preserved cherries), and one teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over the cherries and stir gently to cover the cherries. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the remaining sugar with a hand mixer until it is fluffy and pale yellow, about five minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add all other ingredients (except for cherries), and mix until everything is just incorporated (don’t over mix).
- Transfer the batter to the baking pan and spread evenly. Evenly sprinkle the cherries on top. Bake until cake is browned, about 60 minutes.