When Life Gives You Cherries…

May 30th, 2009

Well, generally, you just eat them. If you’re me you do, anyway.

Cherries!

Cherries!

But, the cherries aren’t quite perfect yet. No problem!

The cherry pitter looks like a stapler.

The cherry pitter looks like a stapler.

But what to make with these shiny little ruby gems?

I don't know why YOU'RE drooling, Monsieur Clafoutis. I'M the one who's going to eat you.

I don't know why YOU'RE drooling, Monsieur Clafoutis. I'M the one who's going to eat YOU.

Of course – clafoutis!

Halfway gone...halfway between really good oatmeal and cherry pie.

Halfway gone...halfway between really good oatmeal and cherry pie.

With oatmeal, to make a more substantial breakfast for yet another rainy day. And vanilla bean, to make it extra special!

All gone :(

All gone :(

I read that the traditional, extra-old fashioned way to make clafoutis was to leave the pits in the cherries. So when, after filling my two little round ramekins and a loaf pan, I found myself with extra batter, I poured it into one of my tiny oblong ramekins and added some un-pitted cherries. Allegedly the pits release an almond flavor.

We'll see if this tastes any different.

We'll see if this tastes any different.

And now for the glamor shots:

Fancy background number one.

Fancy background number one.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I like to use decorative scrapbook pages from the craft store as backgrounds for my food photos.

A very moody clafoutis.

A very moody clafoutis.

If you’re tired of plain old white, I really recommend trying it.

Probably my favorite new background.

Probably my favorite new background.

I love having lots of different patterns and colors to offset my food.

Yup, pink dots.

Yup, pink dots.

You probably want to hear more about the clafoutis.

"It's wearing a suit!" -Z

"It's wearing a suit!" -Z

Well, it’s awesome. Totally make it. Use other fruits if you want (though then it’s called a flognarde, which is also an awesome name). You can also make it without the oatmeal, but you’d have to substitute some flour for the oatmeal. I like the oatmeal, though – it tastes more wholesome and comforting on a day like today.

I based my recipe off of one I found over at Chocolate & Zucchini. I’m glad it worked because I had no idea what I was doing!

Oatmeal Vanilla Bean Clafoutis

How meta.

How meta.

  1. 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  2. 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats (increase amount slightly if using quick oats)
  3. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 3 1/3 cup milk
  7. 1 medium vanilla bean, split & scraped (reserve pod for later use – I stuck it in a jar that I’m going to fill with vodka when I get around to getting some)
  8. 2 cups cherries, washed & pitted
  9. Few pinches of flavored sugar of your choice (I used ginger, but cinnamon or vanilla would be great)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease/butter your baking dish(es) – will fill a 13×9″ baking dish, or several individual-serving ramekins. Measure the brown sugar into a large bowl, breaking up any clumps with a spoon. Add the oats, cinnamon and salt and mix well. In a separate, slightly smaller bowl, crack the eggs and beat them lightly. Whisk in the milk and vanilla, taking care to break up any large clumps of seeds. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well. Pour into baking dish(es), taking care not to overfill (they will rise slightly). Lightly press the cherries evenly into the surface(s) of the batter, making double layers if necessary. Sprinkle with flavored sugar of your choice. Bake up to an hour for a large pan, 40-45 minutes for individual ramekins (middle will be set but the clafoutis will still be moist and juicy). Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before eating, if serving hot.

This would be awesome with some vanilla yogurt or ice cream, but is great alone, warm, with tea, as you watch the rain fall.

8 Responses to “When Life Gives You Cherries…”

  1. very cute. love your backgrounds and that clafoutis looks mighty good!

  2. Alejandra says:

    What an awesome idea!! Two awesome ideas, actually between the scrapbook paper backgrounds and the oatmeal in the clafouti. Can’t wait to try both!! You’re so clever.

  3. Nancy says:

    This looks great! We have a sour cherry tree–and an old fashioned pitter that will pit handfuls at a time. So, this is a definite recipe for later this summer!

  4. lissame73 says:

    looks yummmy, and the scrapbook paper background idea is so clever. I like the first background, oh and the bow tie. What a brilliant idea all 3 ideas really

  5. Ana says:

    i know that the cherries for clafoutis are traditionally unpitted, but i always pit them. it’s one of the rare kitchen tasks i find so satisfying- maybe because it signals cherry season? that *SNAP* *SNAP* *SNAP* always means some delicious, ruby-dripping treat is soon to appear.

    so which version tasted better- pitted or un?

  6. VerySmallAnna says:

    Ana, It’s hard to say, I THINK the one with the pits in tasted more cherry-ish, but it also had been sitting in the fridge for a day. And wasn’t as deep as the others. So I’m going to say that yes, it makes a very subtle difference. It also forces you to eat it slower and savor it more, since there are pits to contend with.

  7. Esi says:

    Nice tip on the backgrounds. I will have to check that out. Did you notice the difference in pitted versus unpitted? It looks great either way.

  8. Becky says:

    Anna — I am working with your mom at the Parkview Imaging Dept and she told me about your website. OHMYGOODNESS!!! I can’t wait to have more time to browse through it, but first impressions are that this is one of the most scrumptious looking food sites I’ve ever seen. You are obviously very talented in many ways. Hope to meet you sometime.

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