When my aunt Alice was married to a German and living in Germany she had a cherry tree in her backyard. I was about six when we got our first mysterious box of chocolate covered cherries from her. I was very excited to eat some candy... not really caring where it was from... when my mom opened the box much to my dismay it was filled with fresh whole cherries.
"Oh, how wonderful, my mom exclaimed, these are from Alice's tree. Real cherries from Germany."
"But, why are they in a chocolate box?"
"Probably to fool customs."
I didn't know what that meant. All I knew was that someone in Germany got to eat a box of chocolates and I wasn't going to get any of them.
Shortly after we received the box of cherries my aunt Alice sent my mom an alarming letter. She was certain that her mother-in-law was trying to kill her. You see, she baked a cherry pie for Alice. When Alice bit into the pie she almost lost a tooth.
"She didn't take the pits out. Who bakes a cherry pie with pits? I'm telling you she means me harm."
Dorie says it is a belief that it keeps the flavor of the cherries better. How so? This sounds like a wives tale or better yet an excuse that a lazy baker came up with...
The only benefit of keeping the pits in the cherries is aesthetic. It looks nice, but I'm with Alice, I would rather not break a tooth.
As for the clafoutis itself... well I loved how simple it was to whip up... especially because I used my mixer after reading about how much whisking Dorie wanted me to do by hand. Again what's the point? Is it to be old-fashioned... I'm just not the sentimental type.
The dessert got mixed reviews. I think the sugar and salt both need to be tweaked. I would have preferred at least a full teaspoon of salt in it, and an additional 1/8 cup of sugar. I put half the amount of cherries that was recommended, and I'm glad I did. I liked the balance of custard to cherries that I had in my pie. But all this tweaking wouldn't have mattered to my husband who just didn't like the texture. It was odd, not really a cake, not really a custard... but my daughter and I had no problem with it, and no teeth were lost.
Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review.
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