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Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh sweet cherries, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour a 9X9 baking dish. Scatter the cherries and slivered almonds over the bottom of the dish.

2 Whisk the eggs and sugars together until smooth. Whisk in the salt and flour until smooth.

3 Add the milk, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the baking dish over the cherries and slivered almonds.

4 Bake for 35-45 minutes or until lightly browned. Check about halfway through the baking and if the top is getting well browned tent it loosely with aluminum foil.

Place on a wire rack to cool. It will deflate while cooling. When cool, dust the clafoutis with powdered sugar. Serve.

An Apple a Day

It was time to start working on my dessert choice for the annual block party.  My focus on brownies last summer created my go-to recipe that wowed everyone and (thank God) ended up tasting better than Edie’s.  I’m not sure that my baking ego could live through the pain from being out baked by the new kid on the block.  If I knew Edie the way I do this year, I wouldn’t have been as hurt, but last year she was the freshly faced new girl who had just moved into the neighborhood.

And so, my work for the last two weeks was baking apple desserts.  Everyone loves apple desserts and they are completely all American!  I had tried out apple hand pies, apple crumble, apple tart, and apple cookies without finding anything special.  In the middle of the night last Tuesday, I woke up with the idea to pair cookies with a pie and a crumble and thus created a bar cookie topped with cooked apples and a crumbly topping.  The best of many worlds. The first crust was shortbread based and it spread a little more than I liked, so I grated that error up for a pie base for my chocolate icebox pie.  For my next shortbread base, I refrigerated the pan with the base prior to adding some cooked apples and then added a crumbly topping later in the bake.  Those were good, but the crumbly topping still needed something.  For the next version, I added chopped nuts to the crumbly topping, and baked everything together.  Eureka!  It was great.  I will continue to bake my new dessert each week until the big day.  Even if it is hot outside, those bars will satisfy as they are great served cold as well.  I only hope that Steve and the kids don’t get tired of apples between now and the block party.

Tonight, I’ll try serving it hot out of the oven with vanilla ice cream for my taste testers.

 

Apple, Onion, Celery and Herb Stuffing

8 cups (¾-inch-diced) white bread cubes, crusts removed
4 tablespoons ½ stick) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
1 ½ cups medium-diced celery
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
½ cup medium or dry sherry
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
7 extra-large eggs
2½ cups heavy cream
1¼ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, lightly packed (6 ounces with rind), divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, tossing once, until lightly browned. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions, celery, and apple and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the sherry, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, cream, chicken stock, and 1½ cups of the Gruyère in a very large bowl. Stir in the bread and the vegetable mixture and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the custard. Pour into a 9 × 13 × 2-inch oven-to-table baking dish. Sprinkle with the ½ cup of Gruyère and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve hot.
Make Ahead:
Assemble early in the day, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Bake just before serving