It is cherry season here in Provence and I love it, cherries being one of my favorite fruits. We have a neighbor with two huge cherry trees and every summer he begs us to come over and pick cherries as he can’t use them all. We, of course, accept his offer. This is the first time I can actually eat all of the cherries I want. I eat so many that I make myself sick. We come home with bags so full of the fruit that the ones on the bottom get smashed.
So, what to do with all of those cherries? A friend was here last year and made duck breast with cherry sauce which was great and easy so I did that again this summer. I must say that it is an extremely messy meal to make. Duck has a huge amount of fat and makes a big mess of the stove and cherries, oh my. I learned to wear rubber gloves so I don’t have purple fingers and nails, to wear an apron so I don’t stain whatever I am wearing and to put the bowl and pits in the sink and do the whole operation there as the juice gets everywhere.
I used this to pit the cherries, a handy little devise, but it only get the pits out about 50% of the time and I have to manually get the pit out.
I filled a bowl with the cherries. I did a much larger bowl a few days earlier to make cherry jam but I decided to make a simple dessert called:
Which turns out to be a kind of pudding.
1 pound ripe cherries
2 Tbsp Kirch or lemon juice-I used orange liquor
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup milk
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Pit the cherries-by the way, the French often don’t pit the cherries as they are supposed to add more flavor to the dessert but I find it a lot of work to eat it that way. Mix the cherries with the Kirsch and sugar and set aside for an hour. I only let it set about 30 minutes. Also the recipe called for a Tblsp of confectioner’s sugar which I didn’t have so I just used regular.
Prehaeat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a shallow ovenproof dish. The photo in my cookbook shows a cute oval dish but I only have a glass pie dish.
Sift the flour into a bowl (I never do this), add the sugar and slowly whisk in the milk until smoothly blended. Add the eggs, lemon zest, nutmeg and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined and smooth.
Scatter the cherries evenly in the baking dish.
Pour over the batter and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until set and puffed around the edges.
It is a very easy dessert to make and I love the combination of cherries, lemon zest and vanilla. I got compliments from some French people on this dessert so I guess I did it right.