While I’m away on my imaginary vacation, I’m leaving the pantry stocked with posts from Exit 51 that would have been part of the Flashback Friday series. The following originally appeared on 7/24/09 at Exit 51.
Buying items just because they are on sale is only a bargain if you use them. Otherwise they’re a huge waste of money. Impulse grocery shopping usually comes back and bites me in the butt. My most recent example? Those cherries on sale at The Fresh Market were a great price. I was expecting cherries as delicious as the ones I got direct from the farm at Baugher’s. What I got instead was a heaping serving of disappointment.
Since they weren’t ideal candidates for eating straight from the bag, I pulled out Kim O’Donnel’s Cherry Clafoutis recipe. The recipe said that when done the center should jiggle slightly; even after 35 minutes mine was still uncooked in the center and batter was seeping through the top. I tried putting it back in the oven but not even another 10 minutes could save this dish. I did everything right so I’m not sure why everything went so terribly wrong.
Those cherries on sale for $1.99/pound ended up costing me more like $10 for all the wasted ingredients. That was one expensive trash bag that Baltimore City Public Works picked up today and I’m ready to cut my losses and move on. But maybe you’ll have better luck than I did.
If you plan on pitting a lot of cherries, I think a pitter is a wise investment. I don’t have one so I used the technique that Bon Appetit recommended – pressing the cherries with the broad side of a knife and then employed Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recommendation of using the looped end of a bobby pin to fish out the pit. Not only was this a huge pain, but it resulted in cherry juice spraying all over my walls. Trust me when I say that cherry juice is a serious stain that you should avoid at all costs.
Also, this batter gets prepared in a food processor. Unless you have a ginormous Cuisinart, you should expect that a little bit of the batter will leak out onto the base from the bowl.
- 2 cups cherries, pitted
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- zest of one lemon
- 7 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (depending on the tartness of cherries)
- butter for greasing pan
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- pinch salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Place pitted cherries in a mixing bowl. Add almond extract, cinnamon, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir and let fruit macerate for about 30 minutes.
Grease a 9 inch cast iron skillet or baking dish of similar size. (I used a glass pie plate)
In the bowl of a food processor, add vanilla extract, eggs, milk, salt, flour, and remaining sugar. Blend for about one minute, until ingredients are well mixed.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Spoon cherries on top. They will seem to be floating.
Place dish on a baking sheet and bake about 35 minutes. The center should jiggle slightly. Overbaking (anything over 45 minutes) will most likely turn out dry.
Cool for at least 20 minutes and serve in slices. Leftovers should be kept in the refrigerator.