April 24, 2012

Cheaper than Therapy...

Songwriters often say that they do their best work when they are going through something difficult in their lives.  They channel those feelings and pour them into lyrics that move us to our very core.
I don't write music...  I sequester myself to the confines of my kitchen.

Being in the kitchen is cathartic for me, it always has been.  Looking back, I've realized that it is one of the reasons I love baking. 

It brings me comfort in times of sadness, calms me when I'm stressed or anxious, reassures me when I've had a particularly rough day. 

Baking is my therapy and let's face it...  it's cheaper than $150 dollars an hour and much tastier.

I find solace in the kitchen, the familiar smells and sounds, the warmth of the oven...  being able to "shut off" my brain and do things on autopilot also brings a certain sense of comfort.

Once again, I find myself puttering about in the kitchen late at night when the rest of world is fast asleep.  

I wanted to make a cherry clafouti and thus began the research.  I read that traditionally the French use whole cherries because the pits give an almond flavor to the dessert.   My thoughts were something like this:  "I like the people I'm going to feed & would rather they didn't need an emergency dental appointment after eating my food". 

I wanted to use almond extract to impart that flavor, I knew I had some, but where...  So,  after about 5 minutes of searching I decided since I had almond flour, I would use that instead.

Thanks to a friend of mine, I had a few jars of sour cherries (sans pits!) that were calling to me from the cupboard.  They were begging to be used in some late night venture and needing to oblige, they were promptly removed from their dark shelf and opened.

ps~ made a second batch with a few drops of the afformentioned almond extract, both ways were delicious. 

Cherry Clafouti
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lb cherries (I used sour cherries in syrup, drained, syrup reserved)
  • 2 tbsp butter + flour for pan
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter and flour a deep 9 inch pan or an extra large muffin tin. (Using the muffin tins instead of one big dessert is nice to give everyone their own individual dessert or as little give away treats for friends).
  2. Combine eggs, yolks, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, milk & cream in blender.  Blend for a few seconds to combine, then add almond flour and AP flour.  Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour batter into pan or if using muffin tin, evenly distribute batter, top with cherries.
  4. Place in oven and immediately turn down heat to 325 degrees.  Bake for approximately 30 - 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool and dust with powdered sugar.  Use reserved syrup to decorate serving plate if desired.

Cherry Clafouti

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