"Cherries bring with them a certain frivolity, a carefree joy like hearing the far-off laughter of a child at play. Their appearance, in deepest summer, comes when life is often at its most untroubled. A bag of cherries is a bag of happiness." ~ Nigel Slater
I'm taking a break from stuffing my face with all of the glorious summer fruit to say hi. Hi. I hope your summer is especially untroubled and frivolous. It's the only way to behave right now, right? Someone told me the other day how many weeks, no days, are left in summer and I told them to shhhhhhhhh. No one burst my summer bubble. I'm not thinking past the middle of September, thank you very much. Right now it's all about reveling in the sunshine, letting the warm air wash over my skin and driving on back roads with the windows rolled down. I've been on a few road trips here and there, exploring beautiful pockets of Saskatchewan and Alberta. If you've been following me on Instagram, you've no doubt seen the deluge of prairie vista shots. I can't stop! The photos will no doubt show up in a post here very soon. But today I want to tell about this Dutch Baby I made my mom for her birthday breakfast. It's so good, it's worth turning the oven on for. Promise.
My mom used to live 3 minutes away, now it's over 3 hours. The distance has been a bit of an adjustment, I won't lie. For the first little while I felt untethered, if that makes any sense. No more popping into to see her unannounced, no more Sunday dinners, or trips to the second hand store together. Now it's weekly phone calls and visits every couple of months. A new dynamic, is all. While I miss her like the dickens, it just means I get to go on more road trips to see her, popping in at my favourite gas station along the way that serves homemade doughnuts with a fill. Free doughnuts. Only in Saskatchewan.
She had a birthday recently, all the more reason for a visit. As timing would have it, the first of the luscious BC cherries found there way into my shopping basket. As a rule, I think everyone should have breakfast made for them on their birthday. We ate off of her wedding china, which often just sits there waiting patiently behind the glass. Food just tastes better when eaten off of pretty dishes, don't you think?
I love Dutch Baby. The wrinkly edges of this thick crepe (for lack of better description) and sweet bursting cherries make this a perfect summertime breakfast. The batter comes together in minutes, and is poured over fruit warmed in butter first. I know you have to turn your oven on, but it's worth it. Don't forget to set your prettiest plates and share it with someone you love best. Serve with toasted almonds, a dusting of powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon, if you choose. Please forgive the quick iPhone snaps - it was my mama's birthday after all and I didn't want the breakfast go cold on her. She raised a girl with good manners, what can I say?
Cherry Dutch Baby
If you don't have cherries on hand, I think 2 cups of any wonderful summer fruit - peaches, apricots, plums would be great. Heck, I made it again with rhubarb and it was delicious - just add cinnamon and an extra tbsp of sugar to batter.
3 large eggs
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 tsp (more or less to taste) almond extract (or vanilla)
pinch of salt
4 tbsp butter
2 cups pitted cherries
toasted almonds, optional
lemon wedges, optional
Preheat oven to 425*F.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, milk, almond extract and salt. Batter should be blended but lumpy. A blender also works well for this step. Melt butter in 12-inch oven proof frying pan. Swirl butter around, being sure to get the edges. Sauté cherries for 2 minutes, just until they are warmed through. Pour in the batter and transfer to oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and rumpled looking. Remove from oven, cut into wedges. Garnish with powdered sugar, toasted almonds and lemon wedges, if you like. Serves 2 people.
Now for a few of my favourite pics from my road trip...
Small town, Saturday night.
Land of living skies.
Through the trees.
My sister's impressive, weedless garden.
If those walls could talk.