You might wonder if I’ve been cooking with anything other than fruit lately and that’s a fair question. Fruit has indeed been the star of several recent posts, and I can only attribute that to the excitement I feel when I witness its abundance… right in the city. It turns out Montreal is full of fruit trees. Did you know? Much of this fruit never gets harvested and eventually goes to waste.
Working with tree owners, partner organizations and volunteers, Les Fruits Défendus is on a mission to alter the fate of these fruit. I volunteered with them for the first time last week, which consisted of a fun afternoon spent picking sour cherries (griottes, in French) in someone’s backyard. For every harvest completed, Les Fruits Défendus distributes a third of the fruit to the owner of the tree; a third to a community organization such as Santropol Roulant where it can be used in its meals-on-wheels program, perhaps; and a third is divided among the volunteers.
So after picking nearly 38 pounds of sour cherries with other volunteers that afternoon, I came home with a sizeable amount of it. Lovely. I made this deliciously light clafoutis and a sour cherry & rhubarb compote, which I’ve been enjoying with yogurt and granola for breakfast. Credit where it’s due: The latter was inspired by a friend.
Sour Cherry Clafoutis
- 2 ½ cup sour cherries, pitted
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup plain yogurt
- ⅔ cup milk
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp whole-wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup + 2 tsp raw sugar, divided
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Pour the batter over the sour cherries. Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of raw sugar over the hot clafoutis (optional). Let it rest for 20 minutes before you dig in.
Best enjoyed warm. Serves 8-10.
- Use pure almond extract in lieu of vanilla, drop the cherry amount to 2 ¼ cups and add ¼ cup of sliced almonds.
- Use sweet cherries instead and omit the 2 additional teaspoons of raw sugar.