Tag Archives: cherry

Cherry Clafoutis

 First of all, I’d like to thank each and every one for the lovely comments and wishes in the previous post. These two months gone so fast.. Being pregnant I’d read somewhere that when you bring a baby home, your life becomes a blur and chaotic. I doubt why is that.. I thought I’d had at least a hour or so between a mealtime. Now I understand how wrong I was. I sleep when I can, shower when I remember and eat when I have a time (needless to say, that now I can eat a cold dinner, which I used to hate before; I reheat my tea a million of times and finally drink it cold). 😀 But! This little guy is worth his weight in gold because he brought an absolute joy into my life. ❤Clafoutis {milkandbun} Last month was a cherry season here.. in supermarkets! Haha. 😀 I adore cherries! I wish they were sold often here so I could eat them every single day! Besides consuming fresh cherries, I made one of the simplest desserts – cherry clafoutis. Lots of sweet cherries in a tender custardish batter, it is a perfect delicious treat.
 Clafoutis is a baked French dessert, traditionally made with stoned cherries. Honestly speaking, may be it’s really authentic and stones add a nice almondish aroma, but I prefer to enjoy every bite of the dessert and do not think about that I can crack teeth.. And of course, if I make it for guests I don’t want them to spit out stones. 😉 Enjoy!
Cherry Clafoutis {milkandbun}

Cherry Clafoutis

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Adapted from Jamie Oliver magazine
Ingredients
a knob of soft butter, for greasing
1 tbsp sugar, for shrinking
500g cherries, pitted
Batter
3 large eggs, medium temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
60g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
60g white sugar
300ml full fat milk
Extra
icing sugar, for dusting
Method
  1. Mix all batter ingredients in a large bowl until smooth and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C.
  3. Grease a round baking dish with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Arrange cherries in a single layer in a baking dish.
  5. Pour the batter over the cherries.
  6. Bake the clafoutis until the custard is set. Mine took about 50-60 minutes.
  7. Serve warm and sprinkle with icing sugar, if desired.
Enjoy!

Cherry Strudel with nuts

  First time I have tried strudel at home. It was a frosty winter day, I was at home finishing a homework after school, when my mother came and told me she’d got a new dessert recipe! I was so excited, because it has been a habit in our family, almost every evening we had a tea with some freshly-baked pies, buns or danishes whether it were homemade or store-bought.. Easy to guess, it was a strudel recipe. At that time of the year we could make only apple-raisin filling; compare to today it was impossible to buy even frozen cherries, only if you hadn’t froze it by yourself last summer. So, we had some nice apples, which were picked from garden and kept in a cellar, raisins and walnuts; the recipe worked so good, the pastry turned thin and smooth.. and we liked the result – new, mysterious and so delicious strudel! 🙂 Believe me or not, since then I’m using exactly the same pastry recipe and it works! 🙂

 Certainly, you can cheat and use filo pastry, though you should try to make the pastry from scratch at least once, it only sounds complicated. Most of you know, that nothing could beat the homemade pastry! 😉
Cherry Strudel
 Do you know, that first strudel recipe is dating back to 1696; strudel legend says that the Austrian Emperor’s chef  was perfectionist, he even made an order that strudel pastry should be so thin that you could read a love letter through it!
Scrumptious Strudel

Cherry Strudel with nuts

Ingredients
Pastry:
250g all-purpose white flour
1 egg
50g melted butter
125ml warm water
a pinch of salt
Filling:
700-900g pitted cherries
3-5 Tbsp caster sugar
4 Tbsp finely crushed almonds or breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
40g currants (black)
40g golden raisins
3 Tbsp cognac/brandy/rum
 
40g melted butter, for glazing
1-2 Tbsp icing sugar, for serving
 
Preparation
  1. The pastry. Sift flour on to a clean surface, add salt, and make a  well in the middle. Slightly beat an egg with water and butter, add the mixture into flour. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, time to time punch it down and throw until it becomes elastic and smooth. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven 200C/400F. Line the baking tray with baking paper, grease it with some melted butter or oil.
  3. The filling. In a cup or small bowl, put all washed raisins and cover with cognac; soak for 15 minutes, then pour out remaining cognac. Cut cherries into halves, you may keep some whole.
  4. The pastry. Dust a workspace with flour and roll out the pastry into rectangle as thinly as possible. You can place wet and floured tea-towel, and do it on it. When you can’t roll the pastry any more, begin stretching it using your hands – place back side of your hands under the pastry and stretch it. Keep on going until it is very thin or you can see pattern of the tea-towle through it.
  5. Brush the rolled dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with crushed almonds, leave en edge 3cm uncovered. If using breadcrumbs, brown them in some butter until golden-brown.
  6. Spread cherries, and sprinkle with sugar. Adjust amount of sugar, depending on your taste.
  7. Scatter raisins and remaining nuts on top.
  8. Fold uncovered edges in, then roll up the pastry into a sausage shape. 
  9. Gently put the strudel on the baking tray, brush with melted butter. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden.
  10. Allow to cool slightly before serving, dust with icing sugar. Serve while it’s still warm with vanilla ice cream or sauce.
 For the vanilla sauce, in a medium pan warm 125ml milk and vanilla bean (don’t allow to boil); add 1 beaten egg yolk along with 1Tbsp caster sugar and 1 tsp cornmeal into pan; stirring constantly, cook on a medium heat for 9-12 minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit. Let it slightly cool and serve with strudel.
Absolutely tasty!
Let’s party, lovely bloggers! Let’s drink (ha, only lemonade so far..) and eat all those tasty dishes, that we’ve brought at FF! 🙂

Slow-cooked beef with fruits

  In Russian language, we have one word “tomlenie”, which is similar to the word “stewing”, but has a significant distinction. Tomlenie is a slow-cooking process of meat, fish or vegetables in Russian petch (oven/stove, have a look at the pictures of traditional Russian petch here and here).  
  Nowadays traditional Russian ovens can be found only in out-of-the-way places (villages and provinces, located in the remotest depths of the country).
  It’s considered that, slow-cooking in the common oven is close to the “tomlenie” process, but the real taste and aroma of dishes prepared in Russian petch unfortunately couldn’t be done anywhere else.

Slow-cooked meat

Let’s try to prepare the closest dish.
First of all, we need a clay pot with a lid. 
Be patient! Stewing will take several hours.
Don’t worry! During this time you don’t need to check or mix the dish every 10-20 minutes, thus you can have a break and watch your favorite movie, and even prepare a side dish. 🙂

Beef with fruits

If you don’t have clay pot-use casserole.
If you don’t have a lid -cover the pot with foil.
Replace cherries with cranberries.
Omit the sugar.
Spice the meat with 1/3 tsp of crushed cardamom, it brings a nice interesting note. 
You can add 2-3 tbsp of dry red wine for the better taste (after the frying meat).
Ingredients to feed 4 people:
Beef, cut into 2-3cm cubes – 700g/1lb
Golden onion – 1 big, sliced
Pitted prunes – 150g/5 oz
Cherry fresh or frozen – 150g/5 oz
Sunflower or olive oil for frying- 1 tbsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Bay leaves – 2
Whole black peppercorns – 8-10
Salt, pepper – to taste
some parsley, chopped
 
Method:
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 5-7 minutes, add beef cubes and fry until slightly browned.
  • Sprinkle the meat with sugar and cinnamon.
  • Put the meat in a clay pot, add boiling water (just to cover the meat), bay leaves and peppercorns. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Don’t forget to close the pot with a lid! 🙂
  • Transfer to a preheated oven, 200C/400F, for 2 hours.
  • Check the quantity of the liquid, and add some more water  – if desired (the meat always should be in the broth).
  • Reduce temperature to 180C/380F and return to the oven for a further 1 hour.
  • Add prunes and cherries (no need to defrost), check the seasoning and return again to the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Switch the oven off and leave the pot in it (until the oven is still warm).
  • Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
 
The good garnish to such meat is a buckwheat porridge, mashed or boiled potatoes. It could be served with broth; in a clay pot or on a serving plate.
Enjoy the holiday dinner! 🙂