Tag Archives: sweet cherries

Cherry Barbecue Sauce

Local sweet cherries are available now.  They seem to be especially sweet this year.  I like to buy local cherries from one of my favorite orchards, Robinette’s which  is where I got the sweet cherries for the Barbecue Sauce recipe.

Years ago when I first discovered Robinette’s, it was just a very small orchard with an Apple Haus and a gift barn.  Over the years it has grown to include a bakery, winery, and a lot of family activities.  It is nearby and is still my favorite orchard.  Robinette’s must be doing something right, because they have been in business since 1911.

They also grow the hard to find fresh sour (tart) cherries. As well as the sweet cherries, I bought 7 pounds of their sour cherries for pies.

             

There are a lot of ways to enjoy the local sweet cherries.  Although, I think possibly the best way is to just eat them one right after the other.  However, this Cherry Barbecue Sauce is a great way to enjoy a savory recipe using sweet cherries.  It tastes great on grilled pork or chicken.

Cherry Barbecue Sauce

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups pitted sweet cherries, roughly chopped
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste (or ketchup)
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned garlic powder

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the cherries and cook until they are heated through.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, honey, cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.  Sir occasionally.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.  Then transfer the sauce to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer to a container and cool to room temperature.    Cover tightly with a cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Yields about 2 1/2 cups.  

Summer seems to be going by way too fast.  My Bee Balm was pretty this year but is now fading fast.  It is a good thing that the butterflies don’t seem to mind.

Cherry Clafoutis

Local cherry season is here in West Michigan.  I like to get cherries from nearby Robinette’s Orchard.  They have U-pick as well as already picked for convenience.  I’m not sure what happened, but this year their cherry season was very short.  Before I could get there, they posted on Facebook that cherries were already gone.

Luckily, there are a lot of orchards around Grand Rapids.  I had no problem finding sweet cherries at my local farmers market, Fulton Street Farmers Market.

I usually make a Cherry Clafoutis every year once the sweet cherries are available.  Cherry Clafoutis is kind of a custard but with a firm consistency that will support the cherries.  The cherries raise to the top as the clafoutis bakes.

A clafoutis is a classic French dessert but at the same time a rustic one.  It is also quick and easy to make.  The dessert originated from Limousin in the southern region of France. I have tweaked a lot of different recipes to come up with a version that I prefer.

A traditional Limousin clafoutis will likely contain the cherry pits which give a subtle almond flavor.  However, I recommend removing the pits from the cherries and using almond flavoring in the batter.

I bought a cherry pitter from Amazon a few years ago.  It is made by Prepworks by Progressive and sells for about $12.  It only pits 4 large cherries at a time but does a really good job of removing the pits.

Not everyone in the family cares for this dessert.  However, I look forward to making it every year as soon as the local sweet cherries are available.  The aroma when it is baking in the oven, reminds me of the time I lived in France.

Cherry Clafoutis

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2-3 cups sweet cherries, whole, pitted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon kirsch (optional)
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9 inch *springform pan or baking dish (cake or pie dish).  Sprinkle with sugar.  Arrange the whole pitted cherries in the prepared pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (with the whisk attached) combine the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, milk, melted butter, kirsch, and almond extract.  Beat until smooth.  The batter will be thin.  Pour the batter over the cherries in the prepared pan.  Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes or until the Clafoutis is puffed and brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Let cool for about 10 minutes and serve warm.  If desired, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.  Also good with whipped cream.  

Notes:
1.  Best served warm.  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed up in the microwave.
2.  *If using a springform pan, be sure that it is leakproof.
3.  Clafoutis is also spelled clafouti.

 

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