Over the years I’ve watched more food shows than I can even remember. Some of the shows and personalities have stayed around, popular as ever, while others have faded, my overloaded TV memory only reminded of ever having seen a particular show or person upon seeing them in a magazine, on the Internet, or in a repeat on Cooking Channel.
I still have my favorite food shows. The Chew is a new part of my daily routine. I’ve never missed an episode of Food Network Star. Masterchef inspires me. Cupcake Wars has helped me through many a workout. Anything with Bobby Flay fills my TiVo. I watch a lot of these shows with Mom; they become a conversation topic as we chat about personalities, the next place we’re going to order food from, and potential recipe ideas. Dad doesn’t really like most of these shows, and even if he does, he doesn’t get to see them very often. He is a fan of The Chew, however, watching it whenever he has a day off or I am watching it on TiVo.
But he has always liked Alton Brown and Good Eats. Times when I am not even in the room, wrestling the remote from his grip to catch up on the plethora of shows I have to watch, I have heard Good Eats music playing. Dad’s a pretty smart guy, so I understand why he likes Alton. Dad and Alton are both about the science behind foods and cooking, the story there of why things work or happen. He finds the show entertaining and informative. It’s fun because we watch it together, and sometimes he asks if I’ve made a particular recipe or would.
The truth is, I don’t make many of Alton’s recipes because sometimes with all the science and reason behind them, they’re kind of complicated or have unusual ingredients. His peanut butter, and my remixed Biscoff, fudge is one of my favorite things, and I have already made it half a dozen or so times. And now it’s on to Cherry Clafouti. This recipe has been on my list, and Dad’s, for years. With the bounty of amazing cherries calling my name in the refrigerator and my desire for a different kind of dessert, I finally set out to make it with a few modifications.
What’s great about this is it’s really simple to prepare and can be made on a whim. The hardest part is pitting the cherries, and that’s not something I’ve ever really minded doing. I baked it in a pie pan instead of a dutch oven. I also lowered the oven temperature; I’m so glad I did this, as I think it would have gotten too brown before baking through had I not.
The cherry flavor of this dessert is amazing. I would definitely stick with Bing cherries because those juicy morsels of summer are the standout in this treat. The custard is kind of plain with a hint of vanilla, but it is the perfect complement to the cherries, allowing them to shine. This is such a summer treat, best warm out of the oven. I think I’ll be making more of Alton’s recipes in the future.
- 3 cups cherries, stemmed, halved, and pitted
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (I bet the seeds of a vanilla bean would be great too)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Butter, for greasing the pan
- Preheat 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch pie pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until frothy and lightened in color. Add the milk, vanilla, and flour. Whisk to combine. There may be some lumps. Whisk out as many as possible, but if there are a few left it is okay.
- Place the cherries evenly in the bottom of the pie pan. Pour the batter over the cherries. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes. It should be slightly golden on top, particularly around the edges, and a toothpick in the middle should come out mostly clean. Serve immediately warm out of the oven. I do not really recommend storing or freezing this recipe.