CSA Week 7, and Cherry Chocolate Clafouti
You may have noticed that my posts have slowed down over the past few weeks (or is that just me being very aware of it??) In any case, as summers usually paradoxically go, they often contain more events and fun things than during the year, which means we’ve been busier than usual! I’ve slipped a little behind on my BBA Challenge, but that will be coming later this week – and in the meantime, let me catch you up on what we received in our CSA share last week.
Last week’s CSA share included: zucchini, yellow squash, kohlrabi (both colors!), cucumbers, garlic, petite onions, carrots!, napa cabbage, baby bok choy, field greens, and beautiful red leaf lettuce.
And our fruit share: apricots and sweet cherries! Ooh, apricots, how I love thee — (actually, any stone fruit) — you are so much better eaten fresh out of hand than in your wrinkled, dried, too-sweet (and radioactive-orange) state. No, I don’t have much love for dried apricots, but I do love them fresh, and these had beautiful rosy blushes on them.
How about uses for these vegetables? Well, the Napa cabbage and bok choy I’ll definitely use in a stir fry; I’ve already used some of the zucchini to make my favorite Chocolate Zucchini Cake (you must try that this summer if you haven’t already!); the kohlrabi, julienned, is a nice salad ingredient; and I’ve been playing around with different vinegary cucumber salads, which I can’t get enough of lately.
I eat the sweet cherries straight out of hand while they’re in season — they don’t last long in our house — but I also had some sour cherries left from a prior week’s fruit share, and decided to whip up a clafouti for an easy weeknight dessert.
I think if I made this next time, I would opt to use the sweet cherries over the sour — the contrast of sour cherries with the chocolate was nice, but I think the sweet cherries would have been an even better complement to the not-so-sweet dark chocolate.
Making this dish reminded me that I really do need to pick up a cherry pitter. Of course, you could go the traditional French route and just bake the clafouti with the whole cherries, pit intact, but I have to say that I’m not all that crazy about biting into a slice of clafouti and cracking down on a cherry pit. It’s not that it’s all that difficult to pit them — run the knife around the circumference, along the pit; pop one half off; tug the pit out of the other half — but good grief, it’s time consuming.
Some women suffer for fashion, I suffer for cherries.
Pitter or no pitter, this is a great dessert to whip up in the summer with any extra cherries you may have around. The combination of cherries and chocolate is classic, of course, but to ensconce them in a custardy slice of clafouti…well, I think that’s a great delivery mechanism!
Cherry Chocolate Clafouti
Adapted from this recipe on Cookthink (from the Barbara Kafka Dessert Anthology)
2 cups cherries, pitted and halved (you can use sweet or sour cherries, but I think sweet would be best)
1/4 cup sugar (I used some vanilla sugar I had, but regular would be fine)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch pie dish or other baking dish.
Beat the 4 eggs with 1/4 cup sugar until pale, then add the milk, cream, and vanilla extract. Mix until blended. Whisk in the salt and flour until the batter is smooth (I find it helps to whisk a little of the egg mixture with the flour first to create a thick paste/batter, then to whisk this back into the rest of the egg mixture. Helps to prevent lumps.)
Scatter the halved cherries over the bottom of the pie dish, then pour the batter over. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the top of the batter. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10-20 minutes, until slightly puffed and just set in the center.
Serve warm or cool.