Life is a bowl of cherries......


The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images




Summer has definitely arrived in my garden this week. Along with the warm weather I've been eyeing up a bumper crop of cherries which are slowly turning crimson. This year seems to be heaps better than usual for the volume of fruit that's formed, and the local bird life are massing on the fence line ready for an airborne assault once the fruit reaches perfect ripeness. 

My solution to this dilemma is to park my cats - Koru & Dexter - at the base of the cherry trees to deter any errant avian predators. But I suspect the birds would still be safe as it would take a herculean effort for my two felines to actually catch a passing bird snack. Exercise is not something these two couch potatoes are really that interested in.

The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images

CHERRY CLAFOUTIS
Adapted from a recipe by Tony Smith
This recipe comes from a very good Christchurch chef Tony Smith, who I've had the pleasure of working with on a number of foodie projects over the years.  I've tweaked it a little with the addition of slivered almonds and Amaretto - but otherwise have stayed with his orginal recipe which is VERY moorish!

300 g cherries
20 g butter - melted
20 g ground almonds
2 eggs
10 mls Amaretto
80 g sugar
60 mls milk
70 g flour
60 mls cream
slivered almonds to cover top


Cherry Sauce
150 g cherries
sugar to taste
4 - 6 tblspns water


Pre-heat the oven to 180Âșc (fan bake). Remove the cherry pips with a cherry stoner (available from most kitchen shops). Grease the flan dish or individual cups generously with butter, sprinkle the ground almonds over the butter.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites into two bowls. Add the Amaretto and sugar to the egg yolks, and whisk until lightened, add the milk, flour and cream to the mixture and whisk to combine.


In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy but not overly so, mix into the previous mix and pour into the flan dish. Arrange the cherries on the top of the batter working from the outside – in, spacing them slightly apart. Lightly push the cherries into the mixture and scatter the slivered almonds over the top.


Place in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes or until nicely coloured. Cool the dessert a little and serve warm with whipped cream and a Cherry Sauce.


To make the Cherry Sauce, slice the cherries in half and remove the pips. Cook the cherries, sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat till the mixture reduces by a third. Puree in a blender and chill until ready to serve.


NOTE: The recipe makes a 23-24cm flan dish or approx 5 - 6 smaller cups or bowls (just make sure they are oven proof first). This dessert is also very good served cold as a picnic dessert, and equally delicious  made with any other stone fruit.


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 All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2013


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