Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cherries Jubilant

All of a sudden, cherries are everywhere. In the supermarkets in perforated plastic bags. At the farmer's markets in paper bags. At roadside stands in little green papier maché baskets. If you made a cornucopia at this time of year, it would be filled to overflowing with cherries. A jubilation of cherries.

Enough to eat straight off their stems, when they make a little popping sound as you pull them off. Enough to put into pies. Or, if you're feeling a little lazy because the weather is suddenly hot, enough to cover up with batter for clafouti. I love the word "clafouti." It sounds downright playful and, as such, it's the perfect name for the dessert, which is a little playful and silly itself.

It's hard to take yourself seriously when you have purple juice under your fingernails from pitting the cherries and your tongue is purple because a few of the cherries didn't make it into the dish. Or, maybe you have an actual cherry pitter in your gadget drawer and you don't need to slice them in half and use your thumbnail to lift out the pit, as I do. In any case, one simply has to smile at dark, glistening cherries all plump and crying out to be clafoutied.

I found a really small vintage Pyrex pie plate at a garage sale recently, one about 1/3 the size of a normal pie plate, and picked it up for a song. I was making this clafouti for a luncheon party for a couple of friends who live locally but whom I rarely see with enough time to catch up, so I thought the smaller plate would be plenty for the three of us. I did the math (I'm a fractions idiot) three times over to be sure, then whipped up this diminutive dish. I almost burned it, too, as I forgot to adjust the oven time by 1/3, too, but the scent drew me back to the kitchen just in time to save it from incineration.

I used Julia Child's recipe, for the most part, but made a small but significant change. Instead of all vanilla extract for flavoring, I used half vanilla and half almond extracts. Good move. The finished dessert was only lightly sweet, redolent of almond and vanilla, and studded liberally with so many cherries that if they had been stepping stones in a river, you wouldn't have even got your sneakers wet. 

Quick!  While the markets are still overflowing with cherries, grab some and let yourself feel jubilant.




9 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

Oh that looks so good!! We used to go up to the Delta and pick cherries, buckets full! The kids would fall on them like locusts.

Thursday, June 20, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, it's cherry season again - get out your buckets and go!

Thursday, June 20, 2013  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Lovely post. Your stepping stones analogy is a riot.
I am so jealous of your Pyrex dish!
PS, to justify buying yourself a cherry pitter, just know that it can double as an olive pitter.

Thursday, June 20, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, thanks. Your compliments mean a lot because I so admire your writing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

Cherry clafouti is a classic. I want to make it now, too! Love cherry season.

Thursday, June 20, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Hungry Dog, I love cherry season, too. Going to look for Rainiers at the farmers market today - they are so sweet!

Thursday, June 20, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Hungry Dog, I also haven't forgotten the meme, but have been super busy, so will probably do that in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, June 20, 2013  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

You, know, the French make clafoutis without pitting the cherries. Sposed to give depth of flavor. Cranky will not allow it, chez nous, because he values his teeth. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookie, I had heard that somewhere but never tried it. What if I forgot to warn the guests?

Thursday, June 20, 2013  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home