A cherry sweet for dessert…or breakfast!

11Did you know I love to bake? Pre-baby Ninja I used to bake dozens and dozens of all sorts of cupcakes. I also used to design individual sugar cookie creations which I would wrap up and giveaway as a special something to friends and family. I love to bake. Currently I am in a phase of my life that makes it challenging to slave over each cookie for :15 plus minutes. Running studio Chartreuse (our design firm,) raising our son and making time for friends, family and Mr C. baking (& fancy cooking in general) has taken the back burner in order of importance.

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With all that said, I still love to bake and especially during these (sorta) chilly months I find myself scouring the foodie magazines, Pinterest and old recipe files for easy, yet delicious sweet treats.

Did you know that February is National Cherry Month? Yep, neither did I. So a few weekends ago when we were invited to our friends house for an exquisite Valentine’s Day dinner I knew that baking something with cherries in it might be a fun exercise. Did you know that finding fresh cherries is actually pretty challenging around this time of the year…even though it is Cherry Month…enter frozen and canned dark bing cherries.

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I decided to make a few cherry clafouti’s to bring over to their home for an after dinner sweet. If you’ve ever had a clafouti you know that in general they are light, airy and fluffy pancake/omlet-like structures that typically include many eggs and lots of cherries.

I made a few individual ramekin clafouti’s using the canned cherries to bring with us for the Valentine’s dinner and then with the leftover batter and canned cherries I made a large skillet clafouti for our Valentine’s Day breakfast at home. I love to experiment when I am creating a dessert, no one typically complains that something is too sweet or has too many cherries or too much chocolate…right?

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Have you ever made a clafouti? Seriously is is such an impressive desert that is both light and rich, sweet and tangy (thanks to the sugar and tart cherries!) and an overall crowd pleaser.

Want to make one? I am including the ingredients and directions below in case anyone else wants to get in on the baking action this month. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
• 1 1/4 cups milk
• 2/3 cup sugar, divided
• 3 eggs
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup flour
• 3 cups cherries, pitted (fresh, frozen or canned!)
• powdered sugar, for garnish

IMG_0455DIRECTIONS
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
• Using a blender, combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour, and blend.
• Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish, a few ramekins or a skillet, and pour a 1/4-inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom.
• Place dish into the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until a film of batter sets in the pan but the mixture is not baked through. Remove from oven (but don’t turn the oven off, yet).
• Distribute the pitted cherries over the set batter in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and sugar.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the clafouti is puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
• Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Servings: 6-8 for dessert, 4 for breakfast.

Let me know if you give this a try or if you have any other simple winter desserts that are a “must try!”

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