Sweet Cherry Shrub with Fresh Mint (Bevvy)

Sweet Cherry Shrub with Mint

Yield: approximately 2½ cups shrub concentrate

 

1 pound organic sweet cherries, pitted

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest (zested with a microplane)

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

30 medium mint leaves, plus more for garnish

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on medium-low for 1 minute.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture, pressing on the solids with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.

Transfer shrub mix into a bottle or jar, close to seal, and store in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

Serve one part shrub mixture for every four parts sparkling water (or to taste). When serving, add water and ice (if using) first (to a glass). Then slowly stir in the shrub. This helps to reduce any foaminess.

Add a shot of gin or mezcal for a delicious adult beverage.

Garnish with fresh mint.

Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis

It’s still cherry season and I can’t, in good conscience, let you go through the whole season without making my Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis. It’s a French egg based dessert (I may have even, ahem, made it for breakfast) and it’s SO EASY to prepare. Seriously, the hardest part of this recipe is pitting the cherries. (Mainly hard to pit cherries without eating them all). But, if you can get through that – you’re home free and you have something delicious to feast on. This one is straight from my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, in the Spring season/chapter. Now, go forth and Clafoutis!

Cherries

Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis

 

Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis

Yield: 8 servings

 

4 large eggs

4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon), grated on a Microplane

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pint fresh sweet cherries, halved and pits removed (2 cups)

Confectioners’ sugar, for serving

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Combine the eggs with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar on low speed in a blender for 10 seconds.

Gradually add the flour, lemon zest, salt, vanilla, and milk until well blended, 30 seconds.

Let rest undisturbed for at least 5 minutes. This time allows the flour to absorb the liquid resulting in a better finished texture.

Combine the butter, cherries and the remaining granulated sugar in a medium, oven-safe, non-stick sauté pan, over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes until the cherries are soft and a syrup has formed.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sweet, hot cherries (sounds sexy, right?). Transfer the sauté pan into the oven and bake, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes, or until the crispy brown edges have puffed up and the middle of the clafoutis is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, slide the clafoutis out onto a cutting board.

Slice and serve on dessert plates dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Note: If you happen to be a bigger fan of orange than lemon, feel free to substitute the zest of 1 large orange (1 tablespoon) for the lemon zest, and substitute 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier for the vanilla extract.