Saturday, July 16, 2011
I like fresh cherries so much that for a long time I resisted cooking them. It seemed a travesty. I still feel the same way about figs. And I wish restaurants would be brave enough to serve perfect, raw fruit for dessert, unadorned, on a beautiful plate.
I am not sure what changed this year, but something has. I am cooking with cherries. The clafoutis above is the one I grew up with, and my fiddling around with the recipe did nothing. So, Mommy, your recipe - at (the Food) - is still the best. Raymond Blanc's version has too many eggs and too much sugar.
Then I wanted pie. So I piled a bag full of ripe black cherries at the greengrocer, and the amount was just right: two-and-a-half pounds, before the pits were removed.
I had never made cherry pie, and used my basic pastry recipe (Molly Bolt's) that I use for apple pie and for little mulberry pies, with less sugar. I added sugar to the cherries, brought them to a simmer, strained the juice off, bottled and refrigerated that, and filled the pie shell, unbaked, with the fruit.
After dinner (pork chops with lemon zest, oregano and terrace garlic, tabouleh with mint and parsley, and cucumber and basil salad) we had the still-warm pie with Häagen-Dazs' vanilla ice cream.
It was actually the first cherry pie I have ever eaten. I think. And it was a revelation. Wow. Recipe next door, soon.