Monday, June 07, 2010

It's cherry season

If you drive around here right now you will see cherry trees laden with deep red fruit. These are not orchards I'm talking about, but trees in people's gardens. Along with apple trees, most people with a little land have one or more cherry trees as well. We have one, but it's not a good variety. I describe the fruit as a pit with a layer of skin around it.

Sunday's dessert: clafoutis de cerises.

But we do get good cherries from our neighbors' trees and several trees out by the vineyard. The land those trees are one belongs to someone who lives in another part of town, and there is never a rush to pick the fruit, so we go out and pick some when it's ripe. If we don't, the birds will.

This year we've been especially fortunate in that some friends who just moved a couple of towns over have a huge cherry tree in their yard, and they've brought us bags (literally) filled with ripe fruit. And what do you do with cherries? Sauces, preserves, and clafoutis. I made this clafoutis for our Sunday dessert and it was very tasty.

Nothing is more simple to make than a clafoutis. It's an egg custard poured over whole cherries and baked. The cherries are not even pitted in most French recipes. You can pit them if you prefer, but the French say the flavor is better if they're not pitted. No one thinks twice about piling up the pits on their plates as they savor the dish. And, according to Miss Manners (Judith Martin), it is not impolite to remove pits from your mouth at the table, as long as they come out the same way they went in; that is, on your fork or spoon.


  1. Judy, that would work fine. Grapes work, peaches, even pears.

  2. You always come across as living among such bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables and delicious foods. It makes American fare sound so dreary. I suppose the French really know how to eat, and don't see it as simply finding the cheapest fuel

  3. vtt, but not literally! Not too sweet, anyway.

    judy, I agree with Ken.

    jocelyn, yum!

    michael, I think it's true that the French, in general, take great pleasure from food and cooking and are proud of their culinary heritage. Even as they are falling into the fast food/industrial food trap more and more.

    leesa, it was very tasty!

  4. I don't think I've ever had a clafouti, but I think I would prefer if the cherries were already pitted. Unexpected pits are a good way to lose some teeth.

  5. So, as far as pitting goes.. I just took the cherry one by one and pried the pits out with my fingers.. it took just a few seconds and minimal damage to the cherries.. afterwards.. I just cut them in half...
    I think next time, I'd leave the pits in!


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