20 July 2009

Julia Child's Cherry Clafouti for Julie & Julia & Last Week's Made with Love Winners

For those of you who follow More Than Burnt Toast you will know that I am always up for a challenge. Where this is a cause to promote or a friend to support I am there. The challenge......Helene of La cuisine d'Helene challenged us on Twitter to prepare a dish from Mastering the Art of French Cooking in anticipation of the release of the movie Julie & Julia. Today I prepared a classic dish using the bounty of fresh cherries available this time of year here in the valley.
The photos were less than satisfactory since the entire city, and probably the skies for hundreds of kilometers are covered in dense smoke. Thousands of people on the Westside of the lake have been evacuated due to the fires. It makes us fearful because it reminds us of 2003 when hundreds of homes were lost, families displaced and 16 of the trestles on the historical Kettle Valley railway were burnt to the ground. You hear the constant whir of the helicopters as they drop their buckets into the lake to try and get the fires under control.

On a positive note, reminiscent of the 2003 fires, the city residents always band together and opens their hearts and homes to complete strangers and donate food and personal items to those that have been displaced. Lets hope the fires are put out soon...there is no rain expected. Update: So far the fires are on there way to being under control. We need some rain which in the Okanagan is not something that happens during the summer.

As food bloggers we have all been anticipating the new movie Julie and Julia since we first saw the trailer at the theatre. I expect Julie & Julia, the movie based on the bestselling memoir by Julie Powell to be "irresistible" not only to foodies like us but will tap into the psyche of a general audience to unleash their passions as well. It will bring food bloggers out of the closet and perhaps we can take photos of our dishes with gay abandon and in public and not be thought of as some crazy recluse cat ladies/gents...wink...wink....

The movie is the parallel of two lives based decades apart. Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking for an entire year every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. As we know this would be quite a challenge. She found support from the blogging community with her blog the Julie/Julia Project.

Meryl Streep plays cooking maven Julia Child. Half of the movie chronicles Child's life in 1950s Paris, during which she learned to cook and co-authored her seminal work with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.

Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, who begins writing her blog to escape the frustration of her bureaucratic job. Her unexpected reward is a new life lived with gusto and not just a new found respect for calves' livers and aspic. The film version is written and directed by Nora Ephron which is adapted from two books: My Life in France, Child's autobiography, written with Alex Prud'homme and the memoir by Julie Powell.

The movie comes out August 7th. Celebrate life!!!!!

**Julia Child's Cherry Clafouti**
1 -1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
3 cups cherries, pitted
powdered sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a blender, combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour, and blend.
Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish, and pour a 1/4-inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom. Set remaining batter aside.

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).

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.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the clafouti is puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Servings: 6-8 for dessert, 4 for breakfast. (It tasted better than it looks!!!)
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  1. Sorry to hear about the fires Val...something we're quite used to here in oz during the hotter months. I love cherry clafoutis...and yours looks absolutely mouthwatering!

  2. It looks perfect and so delicious!



  3. I would love to join in on this one with Helene but my time is so limited this week! Your clafouti looks fabulous! Congrats to the winners!

  4. Great idea to just pick one recipe. I can't imagine cooking my way through the whole book. I'm just too much of a picky eater. ;-)

    Your clafouti looks delicious. Cherry desserts always make me happy.

  5. We are used to forest fires as well Peter seeing as our summers are so hot and dry in this semi-arid climate...usually they are not threatening homes.Thanks guys:D

  6. First off, I'm happy to hear you're safe. These fires are tragic and likely started by man!

    The cherry clafoutis is all the rage, must go get some and make a clafouti of my own.

  7. Some of JC's recipes intimidate me, even moreso after reading Julie and Julia, but clafouti isn't intimidating at all.

  8. The fires sound scary & am hoping things get under control soon. That clafoutis is lovely, & so apt for the release of this beautiful film. Missed Helen's tweet =( about the challenge. Thank you for posting about the spices & I'm thrilled to win in the draW. ♥

  9. Tasty looking dessert, Val. I'm marking the days off on my calendar until the movie opens. Like you, I think it'll be 'delicious'!

  10. Oh, I really hope your fires are out soon!

    I am dying to see this movie! It looks so fun.

    Your Cherry Clafouti looks delightful as well!

  11. i'm sorry about the fires, but i'm more sorry that you have them so frequently that you're used to them!
    moving on to brighter things, cherry clafouti rocks. great choice and terrific execution, val!

  12. Whenever I make Clafouti I always use Julia's recipe. It's the best one around. I also enjoy my cherry pitter, even though the French leave the pit in theirs.
    I can't wait for this movie. I've read the book and it's a lot of laughs.

  13. I love Meryl Streep and I love the look of that cherry clafoutis.

  14. Sorry about the fires Vall here in Summer is so ususal too.
    I love Julia Child recipes, I m sure I will enjoy this movie with Meryl Streep!! Love the cherry clafouti! Gloria

  15. What a great way to showcase the sweet cherries of the season AND build up the anticipation for the movie! Thanks for the synopsis, I'm looking forward to it very much because, well, I think we can all relate to Julie!

  16. Oh my Val you did such a great job for the Challenge. Many thanks! I'm posting on Friday a salade ni├žoise and will link to your blog.

    My heart is with you right now. Hope everything will be better soon.

    Hugs xx

  17. Oh my gosh....I cannot wait for the movie!!! YOur Clafoutis looks delicious Val :D

  18. i'd love a bit of that clafoutis - i've made it with apricot, but i think the original version can;t be beat

  19. I've never tried a clafouti. Maybe next cherry season. And I hope the fires are soon under control!

  20. I adore cherry clafouti and it's cherry season here in MI, so thanks for the inspiration! I'm so sorry to hear about the fires, Val - that sounds just awful.

  21. Hi Val, made a cheery claf just last week. Not as good as this mind! Looking forward to seeing that film.


  22. Val,

    I hope those fires get under control soon. We have had many fires like that in Florida but thank goodness this summer there haven't been any.

    That cherry dessert looks easy to make.

    I love your spice blend giveaway. I keep entering ;)

  23. I love this post Val. First of all it's fun and that picture of the chicken - well, it's hysterical. Can't wait for the movie.

    The clafouti - to absolutely die for. I have to make this while the cherries are in season.

  24. I've just been writing about a Cherry Clafouti too! I love the name too much not to try it. :-) I am looking forward to seeing this movie. It sounds great!

  25. Oh Val! How terrible about the fires! We have a fire season here too and it is almost as scary as the hurricane season!!! Stay safe!

    On a happy note your clafouti looks delicious and everyone seems to be making them right now!!!

  26. In spite of your concerns about the smoke, your photo of the clafouti looks wonderful. I love cherry pie, so I imagine I would love this.

    I loved Julia's book, but not so much Julie's. I'm looking forward to the movie, which surely is a G-rated version of Julie's book ;)

  27. Sorry to hear about the fires. But you picked a great dish and I would say you rose to the challange well!

  28. Sorry about the fires. I hear in the news they are still there :(.

    By the way, your cherry clafoutis looks great and do you still have a piece?

  29. Your clafoutis looks delicious! I didn't love Julie's book, but I have high hopes for the movie.

  30. YUM, I love a good clafoutis...

    I hope your air clears up SOON!

  31. I made the JC's clafouti for the first time only a couple of weeks ago. Wasn't the challenge fun? Great post and photos. Can't wait to see the movie.

  32. I saw a recipe like this in Ina Garten's cookbook and have always wanted to make it, but have never gotten around to it...now I have an extra reason to do it...yours looks absolutely delicious and delightful! What a great summertime dessert to serve outside watching the sun set. Okay, anytime, but I have plans....LOL! Great post.


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