Michigan tart cherries are the best in the world (in my humble opinion.) We have used thawed frozen cherries in this recipe, a great alternative to fresh if you have missed the short June-July cherry season. Our cobbler contains no starchy thickener, so the cherry layer remains juicy and delicious.
5 cups tart cherries, pitted (with juice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup sugar
3 sticks butter, divided
1 cup milk
3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup additional sugar
1/2 tsp. additional salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Measure cherries and juice into a large bowl. Add salt, almond extract, and sugar. Mix thoroughly and set aside. Melt one stick of butter (8 tbs.) and pour it into a 9X13 glass baking dish. Swish the butter around to coat the dish. Pour the cherry mixture into a buttered pan, using a spatula to spread the cherries in an even layer.
Melt the remaining 2 sticks (16 tbs.) butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Slowly drizzle warm butter into egg mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle. Set wet ingredients aside.
In a large mixing bowl, blend remaining dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into center. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, gently mix the dry into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Evenly drop large spoonfuls of dough (like dumplings) overtop of the cherry mixture. The cherries should not be entirely covered.
To catch any overspill during baking, place a large cookie sheet onto the oven rack where you will bake your cobbler. Rest cobbler on the baking sheet and slide into preheated oven. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the dumpling layer comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes before serving.