FRESH CHERRY FLAN
This recipe works equally well with any other fresh ripe fruit such as blackberries, apricots, mangoes, etc.
3-1/2 cups sweet ripe cherries
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup milk
Garnish: Powdered sugar and creme fraiche*
Carefully pit the cherries, leaving whole. Beat the sugar, egg yolks and egg together until smooth. Beat in 1/3 cup butter then the flour, rum, zest and milk. Batter should be very smooth. If desired, batter can be mixed quickly in a blender.
Coat a 9-inch baking dish or pan with remaining butter. Arrange cherries on the bottom and pour the batter over. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown and lightly puffed and set.
Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop or two of creme fraiche.
*To Make Creme Fraiche:
Add 3 tablespoons cultured buttermilk or 1 cup cultured sour cream to 2 cups heavy cream in a saucepan. Warm gently to about 90 degrees. Off heat and pour into a clean jar. Cover loosely and allow to sit at room temperature (75 – 80 degrees) for 6 – 8 hours or overnight until cream is very thick. Stir gently, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. As its ages, creme fraiche will become tarter in taste.
You can use the same dough and method to make galettes of all kinds — peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, apples and more. Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or crème fraiche.
Makes enough for two 12 – 14-inch galettes.
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine corn meal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup well chilled butter cut up in teaspoon size pieces
1/3 – 1/2 cup ice water
3 pounds or so pitted, peeled if desired and sliced stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, apricots
1 – 2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
Melted butter for brushing
Sugar for sprinkling on crust
Vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche
To make the dough: Add the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar in food processor. Cover and pulse just until combined. Add the chilled butter and cover and process with several pulses until butter is pea-size. Add 1/3 cup ice water while pulsing the machine (don’t turn on machine and let it run). Dough should just start to come together. (Sometimes dough needs more water; sometimes less.) It should be crumbly not sticky.
Turn dough onto work surface and quickly bring together into flattened ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes to relax gluten and make dough easier to handle. To form galette, roll out on lightly floured work surface into a circle (it doesn’t have to be perfectly round). If butter gets warm and soft, pop the dough back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined pizza pan or baking sheet. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.
To finish the galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Leaving a 2-inch border, sprinkle the surface of the dough with 2 tablespoons or so flour and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Place the fruit slices on the dough. You can arrange them artfully or place them helter-skelter; either way, it will look lovely.
Carefully draw up the dough from the sides and fold it over to form the rim. Make sure there are no cracks where juices can run out during baking. Brush the rim of the dough with melted butter and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, or more, depending on sweetness of the fruit.
Bake until well-browned and bubbly, about 40 minutes, rotating as needed so the tart browns evenly. Transfer to a cooling rack so the bottom crust doesn’t get soggy. Serve the galette warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
JULIA CHILD’S CHERRY CLAFOUTI
Serves 6 – 8
My adapted recipe.
1-1/4 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups cherries, pitted
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a blender, combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, salt and flour, and blend. Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish and pour a 1/4-inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom. Set remaining batter aside.
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.
Makes a quart or so
3 cups cider or red wine vinegar
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon Salt
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
3 bay leaves
5 whole star anise
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala*
2 pounds fresh Bing cherries with stems
Add all ingredients except cherries to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes for flavors to marry.
Meanwhile wash cherries and place in a glass or plastic tub with a lid. Pour hot pickling liquid over. It may not cover them completely but wait for cherries to exude juice to cover. Store covered and refrigerated for a month. Use a clean spoon when removing cherries to prolong shelf life.
*Garam Masala is available at Asian markets and upscale supermarkets. You can also make your own using the following recipe:
There are many variations of this Indian spice blend which is typically used as a “finishing” spice and added at the end of cooking.
4 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 ½ teaspoons black cumin seeds
1 ½ teaspoons dry ginger
¾ teaspoon black cardamom (3-4 large pods approx.)
¾ teaspoon cloves
2 1” pieces cinnamon
¾ teaspoon crushed bay leaves
Heat a heavy skillet on a medium heat and gently roast all ingredients (leave cardamom in its pods till later) except the dry ginger, till they turn a few shades darker. Stir occasionally. Do not be tempted to speed up the process by turning up the heat as the spices will burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside.
When the spices are roasted turn off the heat and allow them to cool. Once cooled, remove the cardamom seeds from their skins and mix them back with all the other roasted spices.
Grind them all together, to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee or spice grinder. Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place.
John Ash 2020
The following recipes are courtesy of Shelly Kaldunski.
Cherry-chocolate Truffle Ice Cream
makes about 2 quarts
If you can find them, sour cherries can be substituted for the Bing cherries in this recipe: simply increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. Delicious additions include toasted chopped almonds or toasted flaked coconut; if you are using them, add these ingredients during the last minute of churning.
3 cups Bing cherries (about 1 1/4 pounds), pitted and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kirsch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 batch Smooth Vanilla Ice Cream
In a small saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar and kirsch. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cherries soften and the juice becomes syrupy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Spoon into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. In another small saucepan, combine the cream and salt. Warm over medium-high heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, and let stand for about 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Use right away or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (If refrigerated, soften the chocolate mixture in a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, simmering water in a saucepan.) As soon as the ice cream has finished churning, spoon half of it into a freezer-safe container. Top with dollops of the reserved cherry and chocolate truffle mixtures, using about half of each, and stir gently in a figure-eight motion to swirl the mixtures into the ice cream. Repeat to swirl together the remaining ice cream and cherry chocolate mixtures. Place parchment or waxed paper directly on the surface. Cover tightly and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a heavy saucepan, combine the half-and-half, cream and vanilla (bean or extract). Warm over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture barely comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Whisk vigorously until the mixture lightens in color and doubles in volume, about 2 minutes. Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1 cup of the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the resulting egg- cream mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly, and place over medium heat. Using a wood spoon, stir until the mixture forms a custard thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 1-2 minutes. Do not let it boil. Meanwhile, set up an ice bath in a large bowl and nest a smaller heatproof bowl inside. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller bowl. Stir the custard occasionally until cool. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Pour the cold custard into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon the ice cream into a freezer-safe container and place parchment or waxed paper directly on the surface. Cover tightly and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.