Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

Cherries are back! Which, always makes me think of the song, "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries," written by DeSylva & Brown in 1931. The lyrics go like this:

"Life is just a bowl of cherries.
Don't be so serious;
Life's too mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can't take your dough when you go, go, go.
So keep repeating it's the berries,
The strongest oak must fall,
The sweet things in life,
To you were just loaned,
So how can you lose what you've never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
So live and laugh at it all."

Maybe we should all spend more time not taking life so serious, and doing things like this:

In addition, with cherries at their peak, why not make the classic French dessert, "Cherry Clafoutis," named from the lingering regional dialect of Provence, Northern Spain, and Northern Italy, known as "Occitan." It's the same as the natural beauty line of products by "L'Occitane en Provence," meaning "the woman from Occitania." Also note, that a "clafoutis" (kla-foo-tee) is only made with cherries. If other kinds of fruit are used, the dish is properly called a "flaugnarde."

This enhanced recipe from Martha Stewart Living caught my eye, because of the addition of kirsh (cherry brandy) and the seeds of a vanilla bean (as opposed to vanilla extract). The recipe turned out perfectly; although, my family thought it should be a little sweeter. So, maybe next time I'll add another 1/4 cup of sugar. In addition to a dusting of powdered sugar, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of creme fraiche or whipped cream, makes a nice addition.

Cherry Clafoutis

Serves 8

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 pounds cherries, stemmed and pitted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 tablespoons kirsch
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 10" porcelain tart dish (I used a 11" deep dish pie pan), and fill with cherries. Set aside.

Sift flour and salt together into a large bowl. Add sugar. Gradually whisk in whole eggs, egg yolks, milk, and cream. Add vanilla-bean scrapings and kirsch; whisk to combine.

Using a sieve, strain the batter over the cherries.

Bake until puffed and browned, about 45 minutes.

Let cool until warm; it will sink slightly. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve!

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