‘Swiss Mennonite’ cherry platz

November 2, 2016 | Viewpoints | Volume 20 Issue 22
Barb Draper |

When Floradale Mennonite Church planned a farewell event for our pastor Fred Redekop, this is a recipe we prepared.
(For the story that goes with this recipe, see “Expressing love with food.”)

The recipe originated from Annie Redekop (Fred’s mother), and I adapted it for a 10’’x15” cookie sheet. I call it “Swiss Mennonite” platz because it calls for cooked filling rather than the raw fruit used in the traditional Russian Mennonite recipe.

Cherry pie filling
Cook in a pot or in the microwave:
3-4 cups pitted sour cherries
½ cup sugar (or more)
1 cup water

Boil a few minutes. Mix together and add:
3 heaping tbsp. cornstarch
¾ cup water

Heat until thickened and add 1/8 tsp. almond extract. Cool before spreading.

Crust
Mix together in a bowl:
1 ½ cups flour (plus a bit more if needed)
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup sugar

Using a pastry blender or rubbing between fingers, cut in:
1/3 cup butter or shortening

Beat together lightly:
1 egg
3/8 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Add the milk and egg to the flour and mix together lightly. Pat it into a greased 10”x15” cookie sheet, using a bit more flour to persuade it into a thin layer, only slightly higher at the edges.

Cover with fruit filling (see above). I use homemade cherry pie filling, but peaches, rhubarb, apples, or other fruit are suitable. (A traditional platz recipe calls for raw fruit and more crumbs to absorb the juice.)

Crumble together and spread over the fruit:
½ cup flour
½ cup sugar (brown or white)
¼ cup butter

Bake at 350° F degrees for 25 minutes or until the crust is baked. Cut into squares to serve.

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