Full disclosure: Cherries are my absolute favorite fruit. So it’s no wonder I look forward to late spring/early summer every year when cherries are in season and chefs are using them in abundance in their dishes. This month, I have been out and about scouting all the different cherry desserts around town and came up with a list of the best five ones in the city. This way, loyal readers, you don’t have to waste your time. You can go directly to these spots for the crème de la crème of cherry confections.
Blue Duck Tavern’s Cherry Cobbler
Erin Reed is one of my favorite pastry chefs in town. She has a magical way of creating visually stunning desserts that are reminiscent of your simplest childhood treats. Her cherry cobbler is one such creation. Heaps of sweet Morello cherries, which are slightly more acidic than other cherries and have deep, almost Mahoney red color, are cooked down with sugar, poured into an adorable mini cast iron dish and then crowned with a sphere of buttery dough. Once baked, the dish is finished off with a dollop of fresh vanilla ice cream. The cherry filling is silky and juicy and the cobbler crust adds just the right amount of texture to the dish. It’s a close-your-eyes-and-savor-every-bite kind of dessert. One pie, which serves two people, is $24.
District Distillings’ Cherry Pie
District Distilling is all about classic American desserts. The dessert menu offers everything from chocolate chip cookies to seasonal pies, which right now is a sour cherry pie that is absolutely divine. The cherries are bright and sweet, enrobed in a soft, crumbly crust and served with a heap of ice cream. It’s the cherry pie you always wish you could find but never could. Your own mini pie is just $9.00.
Fare Well’s Cherry Blossom Cake
Cherries and cherry blossoms are D.C.’s number one theme right now, so it makes sense that Fare Well is offering slices of their famous cherry blossom cake for dessert. Almond cake is layered with glossy cherry jam and covered in a sweet and creamy vanilla frosting. The almond flavor is nutty and dense, while the cherry jam brings a note of tart sweetness. A smattering of shredded of almonds adds a bit of crunch. All you need is a cold glass of almond milk to wash it down. A single slice is $8.00.
Fancy Radish’s Sumac Sour Cherry Donuts
DC’s newest vegan spot is all the rage, and for good reason. The food is wildly creative and has managed to satisfy the palates of vegans and non-vegetarians alike. One of their current desserts is a duo of mini sour cherry jelly donuts, where small donuts are filled with a sour cherry jam and then dusted in sugar. Sweet, sour, crunchy and doughy all at once, these little nuggets are quite the crowd pleaser. Enjoy two, with a shot of rosewater, for $9.00.
2941 Restaurant’s Cherry Bombe
With a new pastry chef Nicholas Pine onboard 2941 Restaurant is churning out a whole new decadent dessert menu, which includes a cherry bombe, available for $12.00. The bombe is a stunning sphere of whipped creme that is enrobed with a white chocolate shell (painted red to look like a cherry!) Within the ball of whipped creme is a luscious chocolate sponge cake, cherry marmalade, and chocolate creme center. It is layers of whimsical fun and sweet flavors.