I love cherry season. I have such great memories as a kid going cherry picking. My brother and I would sit in the trees and just eat until we couldn't possibly be any stickier. Of course it was always hot which seemed to just compound the stickiness factor. However we never seemed to care.
My friend's Loran and Mike dropped a giant bowl of cherries off the other day picked fresh from Mike's father's tree. I couldn't resist using them for something good.
The first thing that came to mind was a Mixed-Berry and Cherry Clafoutis. This is a traditional custard-like French dessert. I love it because it is very rustic. As the clafoutis bakes the berries and cherries burst into the batter flavoring the custard with their juices.
When topped with a sweet whipped cream, it's perfect since the clafoutis itself is not overwhelmingly sweet.
A traditional French clafoutis often leaves the cherry pits in the fruit but I prefer them out. It's just more enjoyable for me to eat that way.
You won't believe how easy this is to make. It's also the perfect way to use up all that summer fruit.
Let's make it together...I promise simplicity.
Here's the ingredients you will need: Mixed berries, cherries, whole milk, superfine sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, salt, white flour and powdered sugar.
This is one of my favorite kitchen tools, a cherry pitter. It makes de-pitting a heck of a lot easier. You will need to de-pit 2 cups of cherries. Hmmm.....I can think of other uses for this device. But I won't go there.
In a large pouring vessel (this is an 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup) whisk together 2-1/2 cups whole milk, 1 cup of sugar (with 8 Tablespoons removed), 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 6 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 cups all-purpose flour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place eight 1/4 cup capacity heat proof dishes in the oven to preheat, at least 5-10 minutes. Creme brulee dishes work great.
After dishes are preheated divide the 2 cups of cherries and 2 cups of mixed berries (raspberries and blueberries) evenly between the eight dishes.
Sprinkle each dish with 1 Tablespoon superfine sugar that was set aside.
Evenly ladle the egg mixture into all eight dishes. Quickly return to the oven and bake individual dishes for 25-35 minutes or until no longer runny.
The batter will really puff up in the oven.
Right out of the oven, see how tall they are? They will deflate soon after removing them.
Then you will have these gorgeous things.
It's the oozing berries that really get me with this dessert.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar...
Or just add a very large dollop of sweet whipped cream. You will love it. You really will.
Mixed Berry and Cherry Clafoutis
adapted from Bron Marshall
2 cups mixed berries (I used raspberries and blueberries) fresh or frozen
2 cups whole cherries, pits removed
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup superfine sugar (known as Baker's or caster sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain white flour
Powdered sugar to dust
Whipped cream to serve with
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place eight, 1 cup capacity, strong heat proof dishes onto a baking sheet and into the oven to preheat.
Remove eight Tablespoons of the superfine sugar from the 1 cup of sugar and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large pouring vessel, whisk together the milk, the remaining sugar, vanilla, eggs, salt and flour.
Remove the heated dishes from the oven and divide the cherries and berries evenly between them.
Sprinkle with the sugar that was set aside, one Tablespoon per dish, and evenly ladle the egg mixture over the fruit.
Quickly return to the oven and bake the individual dishes on a baking sheet for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the center is no longer runny and dishes are puffed up and golden brown. You will need to watch your oven. Cooking times will vary depending on your oven.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve with a dollop of sweet whipped cream. Enjoy!
Serve at room temperature.