Ally


"Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table." ~William Powell

I know it's BBQ season when I look out my living room window and I see the squirrels in my yard throwing around the bark I laid down like it's New Year's Eve confetti. They get feistier the hotter the weather gets. Those bratty squirrels...they drive me crazy! As does BBQ season at times. I love BBQ season but with the invites comes the age-old question of, "What should I bring with me- an appetizer, some sort of summery drink or dessert?" After a winter filled with pies, tarts and cobblers I'm always ready for a change of pace. The nice thing about the warmer weather is that the farmers' market starts becoming flooded with luscious stone fruits and sweet, ripe berries...the perfect ingredients for making a clafoutis. A what? A clafoutis. It's a French dessert that consists of a firm egg custard (think like the texture of flan) and traditionally is made from cherries, but you could do it with any fruit really. Last night, I made mine from cherries and blueberries. Right now Brooks cherries are in season and quite cheap- they work perfectly for this recipe. Now, the "traditional" recipe says you should use unpitted cherries but I'm always worried about someone cracking a tooth so I play it safe and opt for pitted. As for the blueberries, they're still early in the season and kind of pricey at the farmers' market (4 dollars!) so I got mine at the store ($2.50) but later in the season I hope to go blueberry picking. Mmm, fresh berries! Did you know there's a ton of places to go blueberry picking near here? My friend Katy sent me a list and the blueberry farms should be opening up around early to mid June. I can't wait to go!

Here's a list in case you're interested in going too (just click on the name to get more info):

American River Cherry Company (they have cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
Patrick's Farm
Berry Heaven
Bolster's Hilltop Ranch
Sun Mountain Farm




Blueberry and Cherry Clafoutis (adapted from Food Blogga's Cherry & Blackberry Clafoutis recipe)

Ingredients

1 cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons of slivered, toasted almonds

3 large eggs

2/3 cup granulated or baker's sugar

1/2 cup AP flour, sifted

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup cream

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

butter (for greasing the pan)

confectioner's sugar or whipped cream (optional)


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan with butter.

3. Place the cherries, blueberries and almonds in the pan and spread evenly.

4. In a bowl, mix your eggs, sugar, flour and salt until the batter's smooth.

5. Add your almond extract, vanilla extract and cream. Again, mix until smooth and then pour it into your pan over the fruit and almonds.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes. Slip a knife into the middle of clafoutis, if it comes out clean it's done. When you take the clafoutis out of the oven, you'll notice it still has some jiggle and will slightly deflate- that's ok, it's totally normal.

7. Allow clafoutis to cool.

8. If you wish you can dust the clafoutis with confectioner's sugar or top it with whipped cream.

9. Serve.




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