Life is like a bowl of cherries – sweet, delicious, but it still got those pits.
It’s been a pretty pit-full of a week on the home front, which means some dessert is definitely in order. Since I’d been having fro-yo cravings for days (this is normal, right?) I naturally opted to make something less healthy – ain’t no time to count calories when there is work to be done.
Of course, my sense of scale is off balance. With cherries at the peak of their season, a pound of them seemed like a decent amount to buy at the farmer’s market. Spoiler alert: It’s a lot. Like, a lot. So instead of one dessert, I
got to had to make two! It’s a tough life at my apartment.
The first dessert is a clafouti – a French baked custard. It usually uses bing cherries, but I like the taste of Rainier cherries so I went with those instead. Rainiers have a sweeter, creamier flavor that complements the custard nicely.
In traditional clafoutis (this is such a fun word to say), the pits are kept in the cherries, as they release an almond flavor during baking. But it’s also a beezy to sort through pits on pits on pits in the final product, so I took the extra time to remove them before baking. Cherries do take way too long to de-pit, so if you want to steer traditional, save yourself the fruit-soaked fingernails and leave them in.
Banana-cherry bread, the second dessert, is a straightforward quick-bread recipe that is vegan, which obviously validates the three clafoutis you eat while waiting for this to finish baking. Serve it warm or at room temperature, and drizzle caramel sauce on it for maximum deliciousness.
Why have one when you can have two?
1/2 lb Rainier cherries, de-pitted and halved
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/ cup flour
2 Tbsp polenta (if you are making your own polenta, add 1/4 tsp salt to this recipe)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 8 ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Arrange cherries at the bottom of each of them.
- Combine milk and cream in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- In the meanwhile, mix together eggs, flour, polenta, sugar, and vanilla. When the milk and cream simmers, SLOWLY add it to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This is called tempering. You don’t want to go too quickly because then the eggs will cook and you will have chunky custard. Gross.
- Keep whisking until everything is combined and smooth. Pour the mixture over the cherries.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until the clafoutis are set and golden brown on the top. Let cool to room temperature before serving. You can either serve them in the ramekins themselves or flip them out onto a plate.
1 3/4 cup flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large banana, very ripe
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 lb cherries, de-pitted and halved
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, mash banana well. Whisk in oil and maple syrup.
- Add in dry mixture and cherries, folding until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving.
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