Life is like a Bowl Full of Cherry Clafoutis

Well here we are on the last long weekend of summer.

In Toronto, Labour Day weekend holds an air of excitement and anticipation of the new school year. Families are scurrying about, trying to get the children ready to go back to school by shopping for school supplies and fall clothes. The college and university students are moving back into their dorms and everyone is trying to fit in a little fun while they rush about.

The Canadian National Exhibition ends its season for another year with a large air show and thousands of people braving the roller coasters and dare devil rides. The attractions are endless and the food fair is a junk food oasis featuring such delicacies as deep fried butter. I could feel my cholesterol rising as I typed that one.

Since my children have finished school and are too old for the Exhibition, I can relax and enjoy the weather. I have one week to go until my 32km walk in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers and 4 weeks left to train for my first 5km run. Training is going well and I am still loving the feeling of being outdoors and getting fit and healthy.

I have really enjoyed cooking and baking with the local fruits and vegetables this season. For this recipe I picked up some sweet red cherries and some sour white cherries to give it some flavour balance. If you don’t have both varieties available, the red cherries would be best. This Cherry Clafoutis make a great summer dessert and can be packed into a picnic quite easily if baked in ramekins.

Cherry Clafoutis

Makes 6 servings


½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. ground almonds
½ tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups whipping (35%) cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 lb. sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted


In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, almonds and salt, pulse to combine. Add eggs, cream, vanilla, orange zest and lemon zest; pulse to combine, scraping down the sides of bowl. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange cherries in six ½ cup ramekins or one 3 cup baking dish. Stir chilled batter, then pour evenly over cherries. Bake until golden brown, and puffed, about 40 minutes for ramekins and 1 hour for baking dish. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe from Earth to Table by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann


Apple Tarts

One of the things that I love about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Local farmers’ markets are regularly held throughout the city allowing local farmers and producers to sell their organic and unique products. I try to support the local farmers by going to the markets at least once a week to sample their daily offerings.

For someone who lives in a climate that has 4 distinct seasons, it is a real treat to taste the ripe berries of summer. It is a great summer outing to take the family to a pick your own farm, teaching young children about how food is grown and letting them taste it fresh from the vine. It is also fun to visit a local cheese maker or vineyard to taste the fruits of their labour. We are so lucky that Ontario is rich with amazing food producers and hosts world-class wine regions. I dedicate this post to Ontario’s local farmers, vineyards and food producers.

I came across the Earth to Table cookbook at my local bookstore last winter. It inspired me to want to feature more recipes made with local foods.This recipe for apple tarts is quite simple, yet it creates wonderful french style pastries that are both delicate and delicious.

Apple Tarts

Makes 8 Servings


1 package frozen all-butter puff pastry
½ cup Frangipane, made with almonds
3 large Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, thinly sliced
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut puff pastry into 8 circles. Place circles on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, score another circle inside each. (Just score the circle-do not cut through the dough.)

Spread 1 tbsp. frangipane in the middle of each circle, filling the score mark. Arrange apple slices on top of frangipane, making circular layers until apples are about 1 ½ inches high.

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dot the top of each tart with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake until crispy and golden brown, about 20 minutes.


Makes 1 ½ cups


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup ground hazelnuts, almonds or other flavourful nut
¼ cup icing sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs


Using an electric mixer, mix butter, hazelnuts, icing sugar, flour and eggs until smooth.

(Frangipane can be made ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month.)

Recipes from Earth to Table by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann