Brandied Cherry Clafoutis (pronounced klah-foo-TEE) is a custardy dessert full of fruit and vanilla. Imagine a sweet quiche with the slightest hint of cakiness (the tiny bit of flour also makes the recipe more forgiving). Perfect for brunch or a dessert with flare.
Sometimes a lesson bears repeating. Kind of like a booster shot. Usually with (just) a little pain.
What on earth am I talking about, you ask? Well, as I type, I am snowed in for the second time this month. And a little stir crazy, I might add. In my entire life, I have only experienced one other freak storm like this. Though it also left a mark.
It happened many (many) years ago, back when I was in high school. With an unseasonable snow piling up, the school busses were sent in early, first to the grade schools, then the middle schools. No sense scaring the smallest children.
Before long, however, high school was over… and only one bus (mine–hooray!) was in its spot. All of the regulars piled into it—as well as any prescient teens, living anywhere near the route. Standing room only.
When I arrived home, only slightly late, my mother was pacing and worrying that my younger siblings weren’t back. We dressed in layers, leashed up our Malamute and started down the deserted, snow-blown streets to find them.
Now this is where the story could go terribly wrong. But in truth, it’s where it went right. The walk was warm (although uncommon, April snowstorms are usually 31.5 F), the scenery was stunning, and the dog, clearly in her element, happily danced and snapped at the swirling flakes. It’s one of my favorite memories!
My only other recollection from the day was getting a call from my friends, still at school. They were watching movies, playing games in the gym, eating snacks and having a generally fun time. What! Things were lightening up, could my mother drive me back? Wisely she declined (and I learned later that the “fun and games” grew old before long). A few kids and faculty ended up spending the night.
So, older and wiser, but again homebound, I am doing some baking, which alas will be based solely on things I have laying around. I’m kicking myself for not shopping Friday night (the storm started harder than predicted) and thinking back to our last weather event (a 48-hour power outage) where I wished I’d filled the bathtubs when our electricity (and therefore pump) went out.
So, if there’s a lesson here, perhaps it is the classic Hope for the Best; Prepare for the Worst adage. If you might lose power, fill the bathtub; if you might get snowed in, shop early. Always bring a book.
Note: every summer/fall, I preserve some fruit in alcohol (instructions here). It’s easier than canning and can turn a fruit dessert into a holiday-worthy treat (and the cherry brandy won’t be bad either 🙂 ). No brandied cherries? Soak fresh cherries in brandy overnight for a partial kick — or plain cherries will be delicious too.
- non-stick spray
- 2 cups pitted brandied cherries, drained (or pitted cherries sans brandy)
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cup skim milk
- confectioner's sugar for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch deep-dish pie or a 10 inch tart pan with non-stick spray, then arrange the cherries in a single layer in the pan.
- Whisk the eggs until they’re foamy, then add the honey and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Add the flour and continue whisking until smooth. Gradually add the milk and whisk until blended. Pour the batter over the fruit.
- Bake the clafoutis for 35-45 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean. Cool until it’s slightly warm, or room temperature.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
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