Summer is in full swing! The farmer's markets are filled with gloriously colored, and deliciously smelling, fruits and vegetables. People are walking around the city with a slight tan, and the pavement is warm to the touch. As I type this I am laying in the sand at Chicago's Oak Street Beach on Lake Michigan, watching children play in the water, listening to the ice cream vendors pull their carts through the sand while ringing the "ice cream here" bell, and running sand through my toes. Life is good.
A few Tuesdays ago I was perusing my neighborhood farmers market—the one in front of the MCA in Chicago—when I came upon a farmer who had the most deeply black-colored cherries. I sauntered over to them as if I was courting them with, "Hey sexy, wanna come home with me?" – so I felt my eyes were saying! As I approached I could smell the sweet aroma in the air. Before I knew it, a couple of pounds of cherries were in my market tote, money exchanged hands (and I didn't even feel cheap!), and I headed back to my apartment to create a dessert.
Not just any dessert, I created a dessert that would showcase these richly colored, flavored, and luxurious cherries: Dark Cherry & Almond Clafoutis. A clafoutis (claw-foo-tee) is a baked French dessert of fruit, traditionally black cherries, then baked in a flan-like batter. There isn't any fancy dough, special techniques, or even complicated directions, which makes it a perfect mid-summer dessert.