President’s Day – Cherry Desserts

Cherry Desserts

As defined by Wikipedia:

Clafoutis  (French pronunciation: ​[klafuti]Occitanclafotís [klafuˈtis / kʎafuˈtiː]), sometimes in Anglophone countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.

Cherry-Clafouti-Dil-Se

Cherry-Clafouti-Dil-Se

A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains pits of the cherries.[1] According to baking purists, the pits release a wonderful flavor when the dish is cooked. If the cherry pits are removed prior to baking, the clafoutis will be milder in flavor.

Julia Child’s Cherry Clafouti

This recipe is from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck.

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups pitted cherries
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the milk, one-third cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour in the blender jar in that order. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute.

2. Pour a one-fourth-inch layer of batter in a lightly buttered, fireproof 7- to 8-cup baking dish or a 1 1/2-inch deep Pyrex pie plate. Set it over moderate heat until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Spread the cherries over the batter and sprinkle on the remaining sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

4. Bake until puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Sprinkle the top of the clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing it to the table. (The clafouti need not be served hot, but it should still be warm. It will sink slightly as it cools.)

Celebrate the First U.S. President’s Birthday

Allegedly a young George Washington  was caught chopping down a Cherry Tree.  He was quite honest about it, probably because he wanted to have some of these cherry squares.

President's Day Cherry Squares

By George, these cherry squares are good!

Yield: 16 Squares

Filling
Two 14.5-ounce cans pitted sour cherries (2 1/2 to 3 cups
drained, juice reserved, 20 ounces); or 6 cups (24 ounces) frozen pitted sour   cherries, thawed, drained, juice reserved
2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) reserved cherry juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Crust
1 1/2 cups (5 1/4 ounces) traditional rolled oats
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose
Flour or King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar, light or dark, packed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 9″ pan.

To make the filling: Measure out 2/3 cup of the reserved cherry juice. In a small saucepan, combine the cherries, juice, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk the sugar with the cornstarch, and stir into the cherries. Simmer the mixture, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes (if you’re using canned cherries); or for 20 minutes (if you’re using thawed frozen). It’ll thicken and look like canned cherry pie filling (but taste a WHOLE lot better). Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla and almond extracts, and set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the crust.

To make the crust: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the oats or barley, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the melted butter, stirring till everything is well combined.

To assemble the bars: Press 2 1/2 cups (about 14 ounces) of the crust mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it out to completely cover the bottom of the pan, with no gaps showing. Top the crust with the filling. Add the almonds to the remaining crust mixture, and sprinkle it over the filling.

Bake the squares for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the squares from the oven, and allow them to cool before cutting into 2″ squares.

Recipe and photo from King Arthur Flour
 
 

Betty Crocker’s® Perfect Baked Pie Crust

homemade pie crust

A delicious cherry pie starts with a great crust.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. plus 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. cold water

Directions:

Heat oven to 475ºF. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap flattened round of pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Roll pastry, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on wire rack.

 

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