I love Kitchen Gadgets…and Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis

I’m not one of those gals who dream about huge walk in closets for my clothes and accessories–though let’s be honest, I also wouldn’t turn it down either.

But no, I dream about a huge kitchen with spacious storage for cooking gear.

That.Would.Be.So.Rad.

Cherry Clafoutis

But I have to confess….although I do face some serious storage issues, that does not mean I stop collecting cooking gadgets. I just love them!

So when I got my hands on a Cherry Pitter courtesy of OXO, I was STOKED! I couldn’t wait to grab some of the sweet summer black cherries that have been in season and start pittin’!

Cherry Clafoutis

I decided to make a simple Cherry Clafoutis to showcase the fruit and maximize the wonderful flavor. I’ve been told that traditional Cherry Clafoutis are made with intact cherries to add that “almond-like” flavor. But really…how pleasant is it to spit out pits while enjoying dessert? Meh–not so much!

In hopes of emulating the flavor without the pits, I used almond extract and added some Amaretto liqueur. The end results were quite delicious. Fairly light considering the “custard-like” clafoutis batter and slightly sweet from the cherries.

And with that….. Pits out Homies!

(Sorry, I just couldn’t resist….)

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Cherry Clafoutis
Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used almond extract)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur (optional)
Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter cake pan or ramekins. Arrange cherries in a single layer in pan. Combine milk and cream in a small saucepan; bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Set aside. Combine eggs, flour, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture; whisk until custard is smooth. Stir in Amaretto. Pour custard evenly over cherries in pan. If necessary, gently shake pan to allow custard to settle. Bake clafouti until custard is set and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes for ramekins and 45-55 minutes for cake pan. Let cool 3 minutes, then run a knife around pan sides to loosen clafouti (if using a cake pan). Dust top with powdered sugar; cut into wedges and serve.

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for Leonidas.

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

 

 

In a Vietnamese family, the Đích Tôn is a position that holds a great deal of honor and duty. He is the eldest grandson by the eldest son and is responsible to not only carry on the family name but also our traditions and history.

And this past December, my parents’ Đích Tôn made his debut in the world– Leonidas Knox Nguyen.

 

 

Creme Brulee

Of course, Dad was thrilled beyond belief. And how could he not be? Leo is freaking adorable and such an alert little guy. And those cheeks! I could just squeeze and zerbert them all day!

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A month after his arrival, my brother and his fam came from NYC for an extended stay so that we could all meet Leo and spend time with his big sis, Luna. While they were here, V and L held a small gathering with the immediate family in Leo’s honor. It gave the fam an opportunity to give our blessings, best wishes and words of us advice to Leo.

Admittedly, there’s a lot resting on the little guy’s shoulder. But at just 3 months, I can tell he will far exceed anything we could possibly hope for.

 

 

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Oh! And as for the Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée–I whipped up a few batches for Leo’s gathering. Don’t worry Leo, as soon as those teeth come in, Cô Nam will be stuffing you with goodies. xoxo!

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Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée
Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 Large Egg
4 Large Egg Yolks
½ Cup Sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Vanilla Bean Pods, split lengthwise with beans scraped out
1 Pint Fresh Berries, washed and dried

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and ½ cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan with the emptied vanilla bean pods and beans until it’s very hot to the touch but not boiled. Remove the vanilla bean pods and with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Pour into 6 to 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens. Serve with fresh berries on top.

Slightly adapted from Ina Garten