Around every corner of the holidays there is another party to attend and with this comes the need of a go-to dish to accommodate. Now, you can easily be the person who runs to the store and buys a pre-made box of cookies. Which honestly will probably still taste great but it’s far easier to create something on your own than most people think. One of my personal favorite party dishes is what I call a cherry ring.
The cherry ring is a combination of a puff pastry ring and a sweet custard filling topped with cherries. This is an especially beautiful dish around the holidays due to the look and shape resembling a holiday wreath. While it looks complex, the ring has only a few simple steps to impress everyone with your home baking skills. However, let me start with a few facts about puff pastries.
Puff pastries are a little different from others due to the light, airy center. The puffs are nearly hollow when cooked to perfection which makes them perfect for filling with a cream or custard. These pastries have an origin in France and are also known either as a profiterole or a pate a choux, particularly by professional bakers. These puffs have been a United States staple since the 1800’s. In fact, they are so wildly popular that January 2nd is National Creme Puff Day.
To begin your cherry ring, you will need for the pastry:
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of margarine
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
For the filling, you will need:
- 1 cup of milk
- 3/4 cup of sour cream
- 1 package of vanilla instant pudding
- 1/2 teaspoon of almond flavoring
Topping: 1 can of cherry pie filling
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat your water and margarine to boiling in a one quart saucepan.
- Once the water and margarine begin boiling, stir flour in vigorously until the mixture forms into a ball (about 1 minute).
- Remove from heat.
- Place dough in a small mixing bowl and incorporate 4 eggs in slowly as you beat on low-speed for 2 minutes.
- Drop dough by tablespoons onto greased baking sheet, make sure they touch to form a ring.
- Bake until puffed and golden brown (40-50 minutes).
- Cool the pastry.
- Cut the top off with a sharp knife to half the pastry.
- Pull out any soft dough formed in the center.
- Beat milk, sour cream, pudding and almond flavoring in a deep bowl until blended (about 1 minute).
- Fill ring with the pudding mixture.
- Finally, replace the top of the ring and spoon the cherry pie filling over the top of the ring.
When finished refrigerate.
Enjoy your puffs!