The title of this post has multiple meanings. For one thing, this post features a recipe that has cherries as the main ingredient, and for another, this was a banner week for me, so the title kind of reflects where I’m at in life. Let’s just say, it’s highly apropos :).
I’ll get the latter out of the way first, because it isn’t food-related and there is plenty of “squeeing” to get out of my system.
In my “other life” (i.e. not my work life, but my other “hobby life”), I am a writer. I think you may get a sense of that just from reading this blog, but what you may not know is the extent to which I write. I do more than write this blog; I’m also an aspiring novelist, and I’ve been working on this for a little over a decade now. Actually, I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to hold a pen, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I attempted the very daunting task of writing my first novel. And that’s exactly what I’m celebrating–because this past weekend, after ten long years, I finally put the finishing touches on the manuscript of my first (completed) novel, and I also sent out my very first (four) agent query letter(s) to begin my journey to (hopefully) getting it published.
So if all goes well, perhaps you’ll see me on a shelf or Kindle near you in the near future? 🙂
Ok, now back to the food… (And by the way, the protagonist of my next novel is a food blogger–hmm, wonder why that sounds familiar :))
Last week, I had some leftover cherries that I’d gotten from my parents–and then promptly forgotten about, until I had to get something from the fruit drawer of my fridge and saw them sitting there, all red and plump and lovely. I decided I needed to do something special with them, because they were quickly ripening and there was no way I was going to finish all of them before they went bad and were completely useless.
Enter the cherry clafoutis.
I’d seen a recipe for this at some point and decided I would need to make this someday, because it just looked so, so good. Well, I finally had cherries on hand, and if that isn’t a sign from up above, I don’t know what is!
Folks, this one is as easy as can be. And the results are absolutely DELICIOUS. And the people in my office can testify to this, because I brought it in for them to enjoy.
Cherry Clafoutis (recipe from Joy of Baking, serves 4-6)
- 3/4 lb pitted cherries (if you’re like me and have no idea how much cherries weigh, just eyeball it at 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or flour of your choice)
- 3/4 cup milk (say it with me: whole milk only! Or milk substitute of your choice)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven at 425 degrees.
Now, get ready to put the cherries. I’m not going to lie, people. If you don’t have a cherry pitter, this is going to be the hardest part of making this. And also the messiest. You can use a paring knife or you can use your fingers; I used my fingers. I’m still trying to get the stains out of my fingernails.
Ok, now that they’re all pitted, you’re on your way to the easy stuff :). Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet and add the cherries and 2 tbsp sugar. Toss until the sauce thickens and the cherries are covered in the lovely sugar-butter.
Now let cool, and move onto your clafoutis batter. In a blender, throw in the flour, the remaining tbsp of butter (melt in the microwave first), vanilla, eggs, and remaining sugar. Blend until smooth. And there you go, that’s your batter!
If your skillet is oven proof, all you have to do is pour the batter over the cherries and pop in the oven. If your skillet is not oven-proof, transfer the cherries and sauce into a pie or tart dish, then pour the batter over it.
Whichever you choose, put your new creation into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is a nice golden brown and puffed up slightly. Make sure to avoid any temptation to open the oven door before it’s finished baking, or you risk the clafoutis collapsing. Trust me on this. I know of which I speak (in other words, my clafoutis collapsed a little. Sob.).
To make it extra special and pretty, sprinkle powdered sugar all over the top of the COOLED clafoutis (wait till it’s cool, or else the powdered sugar will just melt and then no one will know it was ever there in the first place).
Now there’s only one thing left to do. Eat it. 🙂