Monday, July 5, 2010

What to do with all those cherries!

Last week I purchased a large bag of lovely-looking cherries, but again, mesmerized by their beauty, I bought far too many and had to find something to do with the rest after I was done snacking on them out of the bag. The first project was a batch of Cherry Walnut Muffins, which were wonderful, particularly 15 minutes after pulling them out of the oven. The second project was a custard-y cake I had remembered making many years ago and as I flipped through my recipe binder, I found it: Clafouti. Pronounced claw-foo-tea, it is a fruit-filled custard that originated in Limousin, France's cherry-producing region. Traditionally filled with cherries, the clafouti adapts well to any fresh seasonal berry such as raspberries, blueberries, etc. Here, the recipes for both the muffins, which I made Saturday morning, and the Clafouti, made on Sunday.

Cherry Walnut Muffins

Wet ingredients:
6 Tbsp. melted butter
2-3 eggs (2 large or 3 medium)
3/4 cup milk, yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk (or any combination thereof)

Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sugar

Grease muffin tins with butter or cooking spray.

Mix wet ingredients together in your mixer. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet gradually, but do not overmix!

To the basic batter above, you can then add 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped nuts (in this case, walnuts) and 1 cup fresh fruit (I added cherries that had been pitted and sliced in half). You may need to reduce the liquid a bit if the fruit is very juicy. Fold the nuts and fruit in very gently.

Fill the muffin tins each 2/3 full of batter, and depending on the quantity of batter, fill either 10 or 11 of your 12 holes with batter and in the last 1-2, fill with water. The steam produced by the water will add moisture to your little muffins. I never used to do this but since I have, I've noticed a moister consistency. If you have too much batter and need to fill all 12 holes, then perhaps adding a small ramekin or other dish filled with a little water and placed along side your muffin tins will work equally well. If you try this, let me know.

Bake at 400F for about 25 minutes. Leave in pan for 5-10 minutes to cool and settle. Muffins are best eaten the same day, and ideally right after those 10 minutes of "settling"!

Clafouti

1/2 Tbsp. butter
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup pastry flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups cherries (or other berry), washed, dried and pitted
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375F with the rack placed in the center of the oven. Lightly grease a shallow, 12-inch round baking dish (such as a quiche pan) with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until smooth and foamy.

Pour a layer of the batter 1/4 inch deep into the prepared baking dish. Place in the preheated oven for 5-8 minutes, just long enough to set the batter. Remove from oven and scatter the berries in a single layer over the batter. Pour the remaining batter evenly over the berries and return the clafouti to the oven to bake for an additional 35-40 minutes until puffed and golden brown.

Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

1 comment :

  1. Christina, is pastry flour the same as cake flour?

    ReplyDelete

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