Sour Cherry Filling

  • Serves: Makes enough for one 9-inch cake layer, torted into 3 layers
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This recipe is used with the Black Forest Cherry Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) Recipe. Historians believe the cake originated in the late 16th century in the Black Forest Region (Der Schwarzwald in German) located in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. During this era, chocolate was first integrated into cakes and cookies. This region is known for its sour cherries and Kirsch or Kirschwasser (a double distilled, clear cherry brandy made from the sour Morello cherry). Someone had the culinary genius to combine these cherries with chocolate and cream to make a delicious confection. But that's one of the many stories about the cake's origin.

1 1/2 pounds pitted sour cherries, canned (3, 14-ounce cans) or frozen, drained
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps, Kirsch)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 drops red gel food coloring, optional - just helps with the color of the filling with naturally looks brownish

1. Combine the cherries, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally to avoid stirring and breaking up the cherries. Cook until the cherries have exuded their juices.
Remove the pan from the heat temporarily.

3. Whisk the Kirschwasser and cornstarch together in a small bowl and stir in a couple of spoonfuls of the hot cherry liquid.

4. Return the remaining cherries and liquid to a simmer.
Stir in the cornstarch mixture, continuing to stir until the filling has thickened and the juices are clear, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add the red gel food coloring, if using.

5. Scrape the rest of the filling into a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until it is cold.

Store in the refrigerator for about 5 days or freeze for a month or more. Thaw in the refrigerator.

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