Life is but a bowl of cherries…
Finally recovering from this nasty cold, I woke up this morning feeling hungry and cheery! Hooray! With my stomach growling I realized that I had everything I need to make cherry clafoutis, and wondered if I could make one as tasty as the one Laura and I devoured at Clafouti Cafe in Santa Fe on Easter break.
After sipping a glass of lovely passionfruit-carrot-pomegranate juice from the farmer’s market, I pulled out my cherries from the fridge and sat down at my little kitchen table and started pitting them with the great little bird’s beak knife from my dear friend Pat from the recipe swap. In hindsight it was amazing I was able to do this without skewering a finger as I haven’t been drinking coffee in the morning… Anyhoo, the oven was preheating, warming up the kitchen nicely, and the kettle was boiling for a pot of lemon peppermint tea. What a pleasant morning!
I melted a little butter in a pan and let it get a little browned, I love that nutty flavor! I had just run out of commercial butter but had a nice chunk of Jersey butter from the farmer’s market, which was made Wednesday morning. It was so dark yellow and wonderful, I love the sweet cream butters personally and the only salted butter I ever buy is goat butter, the most perfect thing to spread on sourdough bread. Back to the stove, I poured in the pitted cherries along with some Demerara sugar and a dash of the Ceylon cinnamon that mOm sent me, and sautéed them until they softened and the juiced thickened. What an aroma! Even with this cold I could smell it and gave myself a steamy cherry facial standing over the stove. Ahhh.
I buttered the pan with the last of the Clover butter’s wrapper, so handy to use those for purposes like this. And it keeps my fingers clean while I try to snap pictures without dropping the phone into something sticky.
While the cherries sizzled along, I grated a little zest from a Meyer lemon from my hot toddy last night, and beat up 3 eggs, a little milk and a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and a little flour to make a nice batter. I poured it into the pan, added the cooked cherries and it was ready to bake! 30 minutes later I pulled out the puffed, golden, succulent clafoutis and grabbed the powdered sugar shaker and cut myself a slice.
What can I say, it was lacking the ambiance of beautiful ethereal Santa Fe and my best bud Laura, but other than that it was really really good. Creamy, eggy, the zing of the lemon zest, the imperceptible yet exotic touch of cinnamon and the sweet fresh juicy cherries….
Meanwhile, I kept hearing sirens outside, lots and lots of them (more than usual) and looked out the window to see a police car blocking the street below my window and down the street to the East a huge billowing swirl of ugly black smoke pouring out of the street, a firetruck already on scene dumping in water. What a mess – apparently there was an underground explosion in the PG&E equipment vault and this huge fire erupted. Thankfully, my power is still working however 4,500 others are not as fortunate. As of this moment the fire is still burning, the helicopters are buzzing incessantly, the streets are still closed and the air is thick and nasty out there. I’m so happy that we have a great group of firemen and police helping, and that I have power and all is safe up here on the hill, and that so far no one has been injured. And that I’m upwind…
Gratefully, I retreat to the serenity inside with my slice of cherry clafoutis
In a saute pan:
2 cups pitted cherries
1 T butter
2 T sugar
Cook until cherries are softened, ~ 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl beat together:
1 T sour cream (I used vanilla yogurt this time)
1 t lemon zest
¾ c milk
¾ c flour
Pour into a buttered pan (or you can use two pans), top with cherries. Bake at 400 until puffed and golden brown, 25 – 30 minutes. Serve immediately dusted with powdered sugar.