Recipe For Health
by Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Featured Food: Dark Sweet Cherries Yield: Serves 4Learn more about Dark Sweet Cherries

Ingredients

  • 1 Vanilla Bean (or increase vanilla extract)
  • 2 c. Fresh Dark Cherries
  • ¼ c. Sliced Toasted Almonds
  • 4 Eggs
  • ½ c. White Sugar
  • ½ c. + 2 T. Brown Sugar
  • ⅔ c. All-purpose Flour
  • 1 c. Milk
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract (increase to 1 T. if not using vanilla bean)
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 2 T. Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Whipped Cream or Vanilla Yogurt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9” nonstick ovenproof skillet or similar sized dish with vegetable spray. Scrape seeds out of the vanilla bean and set seeds aside. (You can place the pod in some sugar and let it sit to season your sugar for future use). Wash the cherries and then remove the stems and pits. If the cherries are large, chop them into quarters.

Lightly toast the sliced almonds in a nonstick sauté pan for two or three minutes over medium heat, making sure not to burn them. Reserve for later. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, with a hand whisk or electric mixer, whip eggs, white sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, flour, milk, vanilla extract, vanilla beans and salt together until batter is smooth and then let rest while you prepare the fruit.

In a large, nonstick, ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and then cook the cherries until they have softened a little and are coated with the butter. Toss 2 Tablespoons brown sugar into the skillet and cook for an additional one to two minutes, add almonds and remove from heat.

Pour reserved batter gently over the cherries and almonds, being careful not to disturb fruit, and bake for 25 minutes or until clafouti is golden brown around the edges and slightly puffed. Do not open oven door until the end of the baking time, or the clafouti may collapse.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Expect the clafouti to settle. Cut into pie-shaped pieces, dust with powdered sugar and serve warm with fresh whipped cream or vanilla yogurt.

Learn More About Dark Sweet Cherries

Come the end of June each year, Michiganders are invited to do some cherry picking. Even if you don’t make it to the orchard personally, you can count on dark sweet cherries to appear, however briefly, in the grocery store or at your local Farmers’ Market.

Picking the best cherries is pretty simple if you make just a couple of observations. Look for fruit with green, pliable stems attached. Since cherries don’t ripen after harvest, the cherries you choose should be firm, plump and dark red to nearly black in color. Don’t pick cherries that have brown spots around the stem or mold anywhere on the fruit.

To keep your cherries fresh, leave them unwashed in the plastic bag and refrigerate them. Wash them just before use. For the best tasting cherries, let them set out to reach room temperature before serving.

Who says the pits are the pits? Cherry pits contribute a subtle almond, flowery flavor especially when heated. Leaving the cherries intact when you brandy, pickle or can them will result in a more flavorful and juicy product. If you prefer to preserve them pitted, save the pits to place in the bottom of the container. For desserts made with cherries, it is best to remove the pits so as not to catch your guests off guard.

Some wonderful little gadgets that work similar to a paper punch do a decent job of removing cherry pits. If you don’t have said gadget or have only a small number to do, use a paring knife to cut around the fruit, separating it into halves, then use the tip of the knife to pop out the pit.  

Sage, thyme and verbena complement the flavor of dark sweet cherries. Try fresh black pepper for a surprising enhancement. To try some unique cherry products, why not go to the National Cherry Festival? It’s right here in Michigan!

Peggy Crum, MA, RD

Featured Recipes

Recipe For Health

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crisp

Combine tart rhubarb with sweet strawberries, add a streusel topping, and bake until bubbly. Dessert doesn’t get easier—or more classic—than this. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’re sure to get rave reviews!

Recipe For Health

Farro Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Chewy farro grains are delicious in this autumn-y salad. Recipe yields enough for dinner for 2 to 4 with some left for a couple of lunches. To do this, make the base with dressing, farro, and grilled veggies. Add fresh veggies to the base as you go.

Recipe For Health

Pecan and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Roasting amps up the flavor in everything including pecans. Chef Kurt's attention to detail takes a traditional chocolate chip cookie to another level of yum!

Recipe For Health

Onion Soup

Onions, the simplest of pantry staples, mingle with butter, broth, and herbs to become luxuriously smooth and delicious. Add "homemade" croutons and a blend of cheeses to make a complete and satisfying meal.

More Food and Nutrition Recipes

Find a Recipe

Browse all recipes

Find a Class

Browse all courses

Search Health4U


Coaching and Counseling Services

Coaching and Counseling Services provides you with access to accurate health and lifestyle information, helping you to explore new behaviors and skills, and identifying useful campus and community resources.

MSU community members eligible for coaching and counseling services include faculty, staff, graduate assistants, retirees and the spouses/partners of members of these groups.

To schedule an appointment with Health4U you are not required to email us from your MSU email address; please email us from the email address you are most comfortable with. 

Read More

Departmental Services

The goal of department based services is to provide work units and colleagues the opportunity to learn about health and wellness as a group activity or exploration.  

Read More

Health e-Guide

This guide has been discontinued and is no longer viewable.

Visit Health e-Guide