Cherries? Yay! In a jar? Boo!
I am in possession of a presently useless 24 oz jar of dark morello cherries in light syrup from Trader Joe's. I love cherries, however, when they're in a jar and floating around in some sort of sugar water, they confound me. I want to make something for the people I work with since they so kindly offered me what has the potential to become a very messy paperweight. Does anyone have a decent recipe for these cherries? I'm thinking a chocolate cake or a rice pudding, perhaps? Oh and I should mention, I'm trying to stay away from pies. Bad pie experience, don't ask.
Take heart that morello cherries need sugar and some cooking, so the canning and syrup treatment is not as much a travesty as it would be for sweet cherries. I would go for Eastern European inspiration, since sour cherries figure prominently in their desserts. If it were at home, I would just spoon them on crepes or blintzes. But if you're taking it into the office, maybe a turnover or some phyllo-based pastry would be good? In general, I suspect something designed for already preserved cherries is going to work better than subbing them in for fresh, like in a cobbler.
This Julia Child's recipe is easy peasy and everyone loves it:
Julia Child’s Cherry Clafouti
Clafouti is a baked French dessert that is typically made by baking fresh fruit (traditionally cherries) and a batter, halfway between a Yorkshire pudding/pancake batter and a custard in a baking dish.
1¼ cups milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 TBL vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup flour (or gluten-free flour J)
3 cups cherries, pitted (I always use the whole jar of cherries from Trader Joes-- just drain before using. I also threw in some fresh blueberries)
Powdered sugar, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Using a blender, combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour, and blend.
3. Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish and pour a ¼ inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom. Set remaining batter aside.
4. Place dish into the oven for about 7 – 10 minutes, until a film of batter sets in the pan but the mixture is not baked through. Remove from oven (but don’t turn the oven off yet).
5. Distribute the pitted cherries over the set batter in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and sugar.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 – 60 minutes, until the clafouti is puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
8. Servings: 6 – 8 for dessert, 4 for breakfast
The first thing I would do is pour off the syrup and replace it with something alcoholic so those cherries would have something to think about while I was deciding what to do with them.
I can sweet cherries in light syrup every year when they're in season. Later then, we use them in homemade ice cream, or I thicken the light syrup with cornstarch or tapioca flour, and serve the cherries warm over pearl tapioca pudding or DH's vanilla ice cream.
They're good in a fruit salad, too. Mix some of the liquid with softened cream cheese to drizzle over the fruit salad.