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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Re: Is There Anything Better Than Cherries?

posted by on June 14 at 15:26 PM

I’ll see your post about cherries, Wagner, and raise you one food fact and two bonus Recipes of the Day.

Food fact: According to my latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated, cherries are the only summer fruit that cannot be successfully frozen. Enjoy them while they last, look forward to when they return.

Bonus Recipe of the Day No. 1:


Apricot-Cherry Clafoutis - Adapted from “Not Cherry Pie,” by Corinne Trang, Saveur, May/June 1998. Via the Ethicurean.

Butter for the skillet or baking dish
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoon kirsch or other appropriate liqueur (amaretto, brandy, apricot brandy)
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups pitted cherries
1 1/2 cups pitted fresh apricots (NOTE: You can also use all cherries, but if you do, don’t use apricot-flavored liqueur).
Powdered sugar for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 425 F (215 C).
2. Generously butter a skillet or baking dish. Then, optionally sprinkle some turbinado (raw) sugar into the dish. (The sugar will caramelize in the oven, creating rich flavors in the crust.)
3. Cut the fruit into bite-size pieces: cherries in half or quarters, apricots in quarters or eighths.
4. Put the vanilla extract, eggs, sugar, milk, liqueur, and salt into a blender. Blend for a few seconds. Add the flour and then blend until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Pour batter into skillet, place fruit on top.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean and the top is golden brown.
7. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, if desired.

Bonus Recipe of the Day No. 2: Red and White Salad of Fennel and Cherries, via Cook & Eat


1 lemon
1 fennel bulb
1 jicama root
1/2 small Vidalia onion
20 cherries
2 T honey
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 t fresh lemon thyme
flake sea salt
ground pepper (optional)

Juice 1/2 the lemon into a medium bowl, and add some cold water.

Trim any of the greens off the fennel, remove any tough outer leaves, and the core. Shave the fennel into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Place the rounds in the lemon juice water mixture to soak.

Peel the thick brown skin from the jicama, and julienne. Add into the fennel. Give it a toss to coat in the lemon juice water.

Remove the outer peel of the onion and shave to 1/8 thick. Add to the fennel/jicama mixture. Give it a toss to coat in the lemon juice water.

In a separate bowl, whisk together a dressing of the juice from the remaining lemon, the honey, rice wine vinegar and olive oil.

Drain the excess liquid from the fennel mixture, and add the dressing. Add the lemon thyme (leaves only, stems removed). Stir to coat. Cover and set aside.

RSS icon Comments


For the love of god can you please post these recipes "after the jump" or whatever you call it?

My scrolly finger is getting tired over here! Sheesh!

Posted by RSD | June 14, 2007 3:35 PM

Good God! That clafoutis looks good.

Posted by Bauhaus | June 14, 2007 3:36 PM

OK, no freezing. Got it. But what about canning? My question still stands. Should I go out of my way to get eight pounds of cherries and sweat in my mother's kitchen to can Rainiers and basil for the months in which cherries cannot be procured?

Also, mmmm, clafoutis.

Posted by annie | June 14, 2007 3:36 PM

For the love of god can you please post these recipes "after the jump" or whatever you call it?

My scrolly finger is getting tired over here! Sheesh!

Posted by RSD | June 14, 2007 3:36 PM

You might wanna tell Ma Paulus that. I've eaten assloads of frozen cherries in my lifetime.

Posted by Paulus | June 14, 2007 3:36 PM

erica probably has an assload in her panties - lickety split, chocolate covered :P

Posted by ricardo | June 14, 2007 3:41 PM

Hot, ricardo. Hot.

Posted by Paulus | June 14, 2007 3:43 PM

To answer the question: pussy.

Posted by muff diver | June 14, 2007 3:47 PM

That's weird... we used to pit and freeze cherries when I was a kid. They're actually pretty awesome as a frozen little treat.

Posted by Carollani | June 14, 2007 4:04 PM

Clarification: They're the only summer vegetable that loses quality dramatically when frozen. Yeah, they'll freeze, but not to the satisfaction of the kitchen at Cook's.

Posted by ECB | June 14, 2007 4:09 PM

No, all summer fruits lose quality dramatically when frozen. (Can you think of one that doesn't?) And cherries freeze quite well, especially if pitted, dry and layed out in a single layer before bagging. That said: frozen fruit just kinda sucks.

Posted by john | June 14, 2007 4:17 PM

I have four cherry trees, and I pit and freeze a lot of cherries, and they don't lose any flavor at all. So in my opinion, Cook's Illustrated is full of shit.

Posted by ivan | June 14, 2007 5:18 PM

Frozen fruit may suck, but it's a hell of a lot better than out of season fruit. That bland crap ought to be banned.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 14, 2007 5:32 PM

ecb, have you made any or all of the recipes of the day that you post?

just wondering, because, if so, i want to know how they turn out, what you might adjust.

in particular, i am wondering about that cook's illustrated "gyro"/lamb patty recipe...i saw that in the mag and it sounded janky to me...

Posted by angela garbes | June 14, 2007 7:58 PM

Annie, can the cherries. It'll be worth it.

Cook's is just wrong on this issue. They are correct that the cherries will not be the same in certain desserts, however in ice cream or crisps containing other fruit they'll be perfectly fine and enjoyable.

One can also dry cherries to enjoy them throughout the year. I highly recommend that option. You can then munch the dry fruit or rehydrate them for other uses.

Finally, I'll see Erica's clafouti and raise it chilled cherry soup with sage and a dollop of creme fraiche.

Posted by B.D. | June 15, 2007 8:15 AM

I'd say Vidalia onions, but since you've got them in the cherry recipe, I'll consider that good enough!

W. Brannen
Vidalia Onion Committee

Posted by W. Brannen | June 18, 2007 7:54 AM

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