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I was inspired by the cherries I bought at the City Hall Farmer’s market a few weeks ago to figure out some kind of nice dessert to make with these juicy fresh fruit. I brought a bunch home and ate some, then pitted all the rest. I made a few turnovers, with limited success. I kept the rest of the pitted cherries in my fridge for a few days only to find out that pitted cherries don’t keep, even in the fridge, even if you mix them with lemon juice. OOPS.
I really wanted to make this fancy-sounding French dessert, clafoutis, to bring to the Workroom for Quilt Sunday. I looked up recipes on the internet, and found some really simple ones, and really complicated gourmet ones. In the end I pretty much free-lanced it, based on this recipe from epicurious.com.
Clafoutis sounds fancy, but is really a rustic dessert from the Limousin region of France. Traditional clafoutis uses un-pitted cherries, the pits then give an almond flavouring to the cake as it cooks. Since I was bringing this dessert to friends and strangers, I wanted to keep it easy to eat, and avoid having people choke on pits or have to spit the pits out in public. I added ground almonds to the dough, hoping to get a more authentic flavour. The cake itself is pretty much just pancake dough.
Here is my recipe:
- 1 pound of cherries, the darker the better!
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of ground almonds
- pinch of salt!
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup of milk (I used soy)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pit a pound of cherries – I cut them in half with a paring knife and used my thumb to push out the pit. The original recipe says to toss the cherries with corn starch and sugar, but I didn’t have any corn starch. Then, in order to avoid having the cherries soak the cake, I roasted them in the oven on a cookie sheet at 200 F for about 45 mins while I prepared the rest of the cake.
- pre-heat oven to 325 F. generously grease a rectangular pan (or any shape you like). I used a large pyrex dish
- mix the dry ingredients together (flour, almonds, salt) in a medium bowl
- mix the wet ingredients together with sugar (eggs, milk, vanilla) in a large bowl
- pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir it up so there are no lumps
- pour the mixture into the greased dish
- drop the warm cherries evenly throughout the dough. Don’t mix!
- bake for 30 mins, then take out and sprinkle the top evenly with granulated sugar then return to the oven for another 20 to 25 mins until the top is golden brown.
- cut into slices and enjoy!
Karyn took a much better photo of my dessert!
There are probably many many weirder foods in Japan than what I’m showing here, and I did not photograph all the food I ate or saw (or wasn’t willing to eat!). However, I did really enjoy eating in Japan, and I think my favourite food of all was brown rice with gomashio. Oh wait, no there was also the miso vegetables that Mune’s grandfather made… and the Saba sashimi in Fukuoka… and and… oh it was all very delicious.
Least favourite food I ate – jellyfish.
I should have taken photos of all the novelty foods. Next time!