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In a medium saucepan, combine cherries, water (or orange juice) and cornstarch. Let stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and allspice (or nutmeg). Using a pastry blender or 2 table knives, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of cornmeal mixture. Set aside.
Cook and stir the cherry mixture over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Divide the filling among four 10-ounce custard cups or individual baking dishes.
In a small bowl, stir together egg and milk. Add the egg mixture all at once to the cornmeal mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened. Immediately spoon a mound of the biscuit topping on top of the hot filling in each cup or dish.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the topping comes out clean. Serve warm. If desired, serve with ice cream.