A little taste of the Argentinian summer: black cherries clafoutis
I am finally back to blog life after I have finally delivered the project that had completely absorbed my time during the last 40 days. I am so relieved to have finished it and I am also pretty satisfied with the results. The year has just started but on January 15th I kind of finalized the most important project of my year. Incredible, isn't it? The challenge now is to fill 2009 with other important projects.
Yesterday I spent the day at the university reviewing, editing and printing. On the end of the afternoon, after everything was finished, I walked to the parking area to get my car and I was so excited that I didn't pay much attention to the cold. The thermometer on the car panel showed -14C but I was not suffering. I was so happy with my project and with the fact that I had delivered it on the right time that I didn't have any space in my mind to think about the cold. The days are terribly cold in January but they will be colder in February so, why bother? The worst winter days around here always come in February.
It is pretty difficult to think of January and February as cold months as I grew up in the South where January and February mean both suffocating hot summer days and the most incredible diversity of flavors one can imagine. In this cold North January and February are poor in flavors' months (some of you might want to kill me for writing such thing) and cold as hell ( as I have once written, to me hell is a very cold place).
In the diversity of the Southern summer, besides the regular flavors of the tropics we also have all the other flavors of the very South, the beauty and juicy Argentinian cherries for example. As Brazil doesn't produce cherries, it doesn't have enough area of temperate climate for cherry trees, all the cherries we buy there are imported from the neighbor countries. Maybe, in the age of biotechnology, one day cherries trees will be adapted to the semi-temperate climate of South Brazil. Anyway, cherries from Argentina and Chile have a special place in my memory, meaning it is the end of the year, it was summer and we had it all.
On my way home I stopped at the supermarket to quick food shopping and there they were, cherries from Argentina, just like the ones I used to eat in my tropical Januaries. I brought home a bag full of them, we ate and we ate a lot of them before I decided they deserved to be pictured and transformed into a special for cherries dessert. What can be more special for cherries than clafoutis? The ultimate cherry dessert and the simplest and most comforting French dessert.
Cherry Clafoutis (*)
1/2 cup sugar + more for drizzling the ramekins
1 1/2 cup milk (or 1 cup milk + 1/2 cup cream or sour cream)
1 cup flour (can make it 1/2 cup corn starch + 1/2 cup flour)
Scraps of half vanilla bean
200 to 300 grams of black cherries with the seed.
Preheat oven at 180C/350F. Butter a oven proof pan or individual ramekins with butter and drizzle some sugar. Divide the washed and dried cherries and reserve. Beat the eggs with the sugar. Add the vanilla scraps and beat some more. Add the milk and mix well to incorporate. Add the flour, in two or three times, mixing slowly. The batter will be very liquid. Transfer batter to the prepare pan or divide it between the individual ramekins. The liquid must cover the fruit layer. Bake for 45 minutes until slightly golden. You can serve with a drizzle of confectioners sugar and some grounded pistachio. Serves 6.
(*) Clafoutis and Flognarde
Very recently I learned that it is not necessary to write or say 'cherry clafoutis', do you want to know why? Because all clafoutis are made with cherry. When you make the French creamy egg tart mostly know as clafoutis with another fruit you actually make a 'flognarde'. The first time I read about flognarde was on Leonor's blog Flagrante Delícia . I got curious and decided to investigate more about flognarde. I made a shot research and found the origins of these desserts. Clafoutis and flognarde are both traditional desserts from Limousin, France. The origin of the name clafoutis is totally related to the use of cherries and a short explanation about it can be read here . Isn't it amazing?