These individual cakes are baked and served right in the jar. Layers of sweet fruit and cobbler-esque cake fill Mason jars for the ultimate portable picnic dessert. Karen came up with this recipe in the summer, but she recommends using whatever fruit is in season; she also says this recipe is a good use for slightly damaged fruit.
Game plan: These cakes can be made ahead; stored (with a proper lid and sans whipped cream) in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; and, of course, gifted.
Watch Karen demonstrate how to make her single-serving cakes in this CHOW Tip video.
2In a small bowl, combine the cherries and strawberries and divide the fruit evenly among 4 half-pint canning jars. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt and divide the mixture among the jars (1/4 cup per jar), tapping and shaking well to distribute the dry ingredients around the fruit. Top each jar with 1 tablespoon of butter. Note that the jars will not be filled all the way.
3Fill the bottom of an 8-inch square or round baking dish with dried beans in at least a double layer. Nestle each jar flat on its bottom in the pan; the jars should not be touching one another. (The beans will help keep the jars steady while you’re moving them in and out of the oven.)
4Bake for 1 hour, until the tops are brown and bubbly and the cakes have set. Allow the cakes to cool on a rack for 20 minutes.
5Whip the cream in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Dollop whipped cream on each of the cakes and serve. Eat straight out of the jars.