Life is a bowl of cherries not to be missed. It is cherry season and beyond the pure beauty of a bowl of cherries, there are many reasons not to miss cherry season and eating more cherries. The health benefits of cherries makes them a super fruit. Cherries are high in potassium, anthocyanins, beta carotene, vitamin C, quercetin, fiber and antioxidants as a result, cherries may reduce inflammation, high blood pressure, heart disease, constipation and fight cancer. Beyond all the nutritional benefits, cherries taste amazing!
Last week I started my cherry season adventures making a clafoutis (cla-foo-tee), a French dessert cake. Actually I made a few different variations before I fell in love with a recipe from Alice Water’s “Chez Panisse Fruit” cookbook. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and oohed and ahhhed with each bite.
(adapted from “Chez Panisse Fruit” by Alice Waters)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lb. sweet cherries, washed, stemmed, and pitted
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
small lemon, zested
2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons almond flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 pinch of salt
powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the cherries, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Stirring occasionally. Cook for about 7 minutes or until cherries are soft and tender.
3. Arrange cherries in a single layer of a 9 inch baking dish.
4. In a large bowl beat egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sugar until creamy. Add almond flour, vanilla and almond extracts, and cream.
5. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until just stiff.
6. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk/flour batter until just blended. Pour the batter over the cherries.
7. Bake on top third of oven for about 20 minutes. Cake is done when it is light brown and a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool slightly and enjoy with a dusting of powdered sugar.