Post # 170 Autumn and Cherries

September 25, 2013 at 12:28 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I’ve talked about it before.  We’re at the time of year where in many parts of the world, the harvest is taking place.  Right now, harvest fairs, homecomings, and fall festivals are well underway.  People are preparing for the cold part of the year when they’re stuck indoors most of the time.  Our modern lives don’t leave us in our own houses as much as in times past, but very little happens outside after this time of year.  In the Southern hemisphere, that’s reversed.  They’re starting to think about the upcoming warmth.  We in the Northern hemisphere are starting to “patch the holes” and make sure the cold doesn’t leak in.

When I lived in Virginia, this was the time of year when the world turned into a calendar.  The rolling hills that were green were turned into mosaics of yellow, red, and orange.  Whole forest looked as though they were on fire.  That display would last a few weeks, then all the leaves would turn brown, drop to the ground, and start decomposing to feed the earth and provide insulation for the smaller animals when the snow arrived.  Apples were ready to be picked from the trees; grapes were ready to be stomped into wine; and my favorite fruit, cherries were bright red, or dark red, and were ready to be picked and eaten.

Cherries come in a lot of varieties and can be used in a billion ways.  Everyone has seen cherry pies.  It’s the fourth favorite pie in America.  Have you ever seen a Cherry Chip Cake?  Remind me some time to give you that recipe.  During the Fall, Cherry Cider is one of my favorite drinks.  You can’t really make true cider from cherries, so what you do is make apple cider, then add enough cherry juice to make your apple cider taste like cherries.  Good stuff.  And they’re so good for you.

One of my favorite cherry recipes is Cherry Clafoutis.  That pronounced Claw Footy.  It’s French.  And it’s so easy to make.  And the variations are as limitless as your imagination.

Here’s the basic recipe:

Cherry Clafoutis

  • Two tablespoons and 1 teaspoon softened butter
  • 2 cups cherries, pitted (do not use cherry pie filling)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on taste
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Heat your oven to 350.  Use the one teaspoon of butter to butter a baking dish.  I use either a deep dish pie plate, or a glass 8×8 baking dish.  Any baking dish will do as long as it’s that approximate size.  Or you can make smaller, individual Clafoutis in ramekins.  Fill the baking dish with the cherries.  I’ve used various kinds of cherries and each one gives its own flavor and distinction to the dish so experiment.  There’s no difference using fresh cherries or frozen, except with fresh cherries, you have to take the stones out, while with frozen that’s usually already done.  In a medium bowl, combine all other ingredients except cocoa powder and powdered sugar until smooth, then pour over cherries.  Cook in 350 oven for 30 minutes.  Dust with cocoa powder and powdered sugar.  Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

Now some GREAT variations on this.  Sometimes I sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar to give it a crunch.  Other times I’ve added a 1/4 tsp of allspice to give it a spicy flavor.  I’ve added chocolate chips once in a while.  I’ve also poured chocolate syrup on just after it came out of the oven.

This creates a kind of custardy base with the fruit.  I’ve eaten this chilled and it’s tasted terrific.  I’ve added different fruit, like blueberries, peaches, etc. with the cherries or instead of the cherries.  Everything seems to work with this.  And it’s different enough that when you serve it to guests, they’re always impressed.


cherry clafoutis

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