Friday, July 16, 2010

Cherries Galore!

hi! i'm a cherry
and I want to be baked.
Happy Day!
This post reflects on the lush properties of cherries, one of my favorite things to wear, and eat in the summer time. When one makes a cherry dish or wears a cherry outfit, there is something that is very american and brooks brothers-ish about it. This is why I only wear my cherries to certain events where the spirit of americana is classy and cheerful.
Continuing on with this theme, baking a cherry dessert can be very rewarding and does lead to a heightened sense of patriotic do-goodery.
Once upon a summer night, I was invited to a dinner party in the very cherry worthy area of Madison Park. My two friends Sara and Kari had prepared delicious dishes and I was to bring a dessert.

I thought to myself... non other than a cherry clafoutis will do, sir!

So I began my cherry quest, which started at Prey's Fruit Barn in Leavenworth, WA. They have a HUGE flag flying out front in the summer time, signifying that cherries are, in fact, a most American fruit.
Traditionally, the clafoutis is made with a super simple batter and UN-pitted cherries. I was kicking myself, friends, because though I do respect the nature of this dish (rustic, originated in southern france, peasant food) I did not want my guests to have to fumble with their tongues to produce a cherry pit each time they took a bite. THUS, the cherry pitter enters the picture.
Long story short, I saw the pitter at Prey's, thought it was a great idea, and decided to (not buy one there on the spot) buy one in Seattle.
I have yet to find a cherry pitter in Seattle. #CHERRYFAIL
Perhaps the blog gods will purchase one for me?

I move on to the brutal reality of pitting each cherry by hand with a pairing knife. This laborious process goes better than I had imagined, since all 10 of my digits are still attached and I am still able to type and open string cheese wrappers.

Fun Cherry Facts:
  • Rainier Cherries can sell for up to $1 EACH in Japan? (source: the internet. But I kind of believe it).
  • Rainier Cherries are known as the "white cherry" in the cherry world, due to their light colored flesh
  • The Rainier Cherry was created by a COUGAR
  • Crows love cherries and they will do anything to eat them. Even kill a bald eagle.

Cherry Clafoutis
Adapted from
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 c milk
2 tbsp. kirsch (cherry brandy)
Pinch of fine salt
3/4 c flour
3 c black and Rainier cherries, pitted any way you know how
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Generously butter a 9" cast-iron skillet or baking dish. Combine vanilla extract, eggs, sugar, milk, kirsch, and salt in a blender. Blend for a few seconds to mix ingredients, then add flour and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Literally the easiest thing to make ever!
until frothy!

add a flavoring; I used cherry brandy but almond flavoring (extract or Amaretto works well too).

2. Pour batter into buttered skillet, then distribute cherries evenly over top. Bake until a skewer inserted into batter comes out clean and a golden brown crust has formed on top and bottom of clafoutis, about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and delight in the flavor!

This cherry dessert is so very easy to make and impressive to present at the table. Serve with a high end ice cream or alone, dusted with powdered sugar. A clafoutis may also be made with a variety of other fruits such as plums, pluots, apricots, pears, berries, peaches, and apples! Mmmmm, a pear clafoutis with cardamon. This is a dish that will warm my table in the fall.


  1. Did you pitt out while you were pitting all those cherries?

  2. Why don't you write about your cherry PIES?