Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sour Cherry Clafoutis

    It’s been nearly six months since my first blog post, back in the freezing winter when I pined away for fresh fruit and veg, wondering if anyone out there was listening or cared.  And now, friends from every corner of the country have been sending me pictures of recipes they’ve tried out, telling me they’ve been following, or commenting on a post… it’s an amazing feeling!  I couldn’t have predicted how much fun it would be to share pictures and stories, and I’d never have kept up with it if not for all the words of encouragement.  So for those of you out there reading this, thank you for sticking with me so far!  
  Back in January I was dreaming of market stalls bursting with produce, and well, the season is truly upon me now.  My newest flip flops are already well broken in and I’m up to three shower days and strictly up-do’s.  And with the summer stench of garbage ripe in the sticky air, it’s a challenge to leave the cool comfort in front of the a/c.  But hey, I’m not complaining- because at the Greenmarket the farm stalls are chock full of color: red orange yellow green, even purple and pink and every shade in between.  There’s more fresh local dirt candy than I can hope to eat, and I’m loving every green leaf, firm zucchini and crunchy radish. 

   And the best part about the summer market has to be the ripe juicy stone fruit- nothing tastes better than a dripping syrupy peach in season or a sweet black cherry warm from the sun.  While most of the year we are restricted to making our pies with rubbery, watered-down IQF sour cherries, for these few glorious months we can get our hands on the ruby-red real thing! 
  What better way to showcase the tart tangy gems of the season than in a creamy clafoutis.  This dessert is so simple and works with any berries or stone fruits, and there is something deeply homey and comforting about it- talk about the way to a man’s heart…  Sweet milk and eggs soak into the cherries, whose sour tang cuts the rich eggy custard in turn.  Served warm, at room temperature or cold, it makes a great treat for breakfast, tea-time, or after a light summer dinner.
Traditionally clafoutis is crust-less, baked in a buttered pie plate or even a hot cast-iron pan- but I poured mine into a par-baked tart shell I blind baked with marbles. 

Sour Cherry Clafoutis
1 ¼ cup       milk
¼  cup         cream
3                 eggs
½ cup          sugar
½                vanilla bean
½ cup         almond flour
1 t               salt
3 cups         sour cherries, pitted
1                 9” buttered pie dish or
                   Par-baked tart shell

1.  Wash and clean the cherries and remove the pits.  And don’t go out and buy a cherry pitter either, here’s a guide on how to pop them out with a paperclip!
2.  In a bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, salt and eggs.  Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds out into the milk mixture.  If you don’t have a bean, substitute 1 T vanilla extract.
3.  Break up any clumps in the almond flour and whisk it into the milk and eggs (sub AP flour if you need to)

4.  Arrange the cherries in your dish, pour the custard over the fruit and bake at 375°F  until the custard is set and the top is golden brown, about 35-45 minutes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment