Electric Lunchbox #33: Cherry Clafouti

Clafouti! This recipe is for a French custardy dessert that is a perfect use for summer’s sweet cherries!

I had vanpooled for work during the last couple of years I worked at UCLA (140+miles/day)and was in a group of 11 people. Some would leave, and got replaced, but the rest of us, we got to be really close. When traffic is really bad, we’d stop by McDonald’s in Gardena for ice cream, or even a combo meal, while I sometimes did a quick run at the nextdoor Japanese grocery store. Or when there is just a few of us, we’d detour to a Church’s chicken in Norwalk. Or to Knott’s Berry Farm for the chicken dinner and boysenberry pie….I love those times, as I am saved from thinking what to cook for dinner!

We’d meet up for dinner, dimsum, and we have group texts….they were an amazing group! Even now, well over 12 years since my last van ride, we still keep in touch. One passed away a year ago, others retired, but we’re still friends and chat almost every day.

This recipe is from Jerome. He is French and would talk about foods (our van’s favorite topic) that he miss a lot. This was one of them. And he taught us how to make it.

I hope you like this easy, refreshing recipe. I’ve seen the cherries substituted with other summer fruits, but to me, cherries are essential to this recipe. I tried adding a drop of almond extract (just because I love cherries and almond combo!) in the custard mix, and of course it tasted awesome.

Pitting the cherries.

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1/2 pound cherries

2 eggs

4 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of salt

2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

125 ml whole milk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Vanilla sugar to serve*

1. Grease the big bottom bowl of the ELB. Place the pitted cherries in and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and salt.

3. Add flour, milk, butter, and vanilla. Blend well.

4. Pour mixture into the bowl with the cherries. Cover with foil and set on the ELB base.

5. Place 3 (120ml) little cups water in the base. Cover and let steam until done, about 50 minutes.

6. Carefully open the lunchbox and insert a skewer into the clafouti. It should come out clean. Add more water and steam longer if necessary.

7. Place the bowl in a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate until cold. Unmold onto a serving dish and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Serve cold.

*vanilla sugar – you can purchase this or make your own. To make it: bury 1-2 vanilla beans that were split down the middle in a cup of sugar. Make sure to cover the container. Leave for about a week. Use for a hint of vanilla in your coffee, tea, or desserts.

Electric Lunchbox #22: Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The idea to make this recipe came about when the admin of a Facebook group I’m in requested for a Pineapple Cake, after I posted a regular recipe for a Chocolate Cake. I initially made a recipe for a Chocolate cake using mayonnaise but got asked for a recipe with out mayo. Gladly obliged to that request because I mean, Chocolate Cake! And developing recipes means taste testing until I get the recipe right.

So Pineapple Upside down cake….this took me a few tries to get it to a point that I can actually be proud to share the recipe. I am happy with this lightly spiced cake as it complements the sweet pineapple topping perfectly.

Please try it and let me know how it was!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 pineapple slices, from a can

2 maraschino cherries, stems removed

Cake:

1/3 cup flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of nutmeg

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

Spray the big bottom bowl of the Itaki with a cooking spray. *You can also use the medium Itaki Jumbo bowl for this recipe.*

Place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in the bowl. Swirl the butter around and add the brown sugar. Top with the pineapple slices, squeezing them to fit. Place a cherry in the middle of each pineapple slice. Set bowl aside.

In a small mixing bowl, mix together all cake ingredients and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter just until mixed. Pour over the pineapple slices and cover the bowl with foil.

Place in the Itaki base. Add 3 Itaki cups of water to the base. cover and steam until it shuts off, around 50 minutes. Carefully remove the bowl from the Itaki base and let cool on a wire rack. Run a knife along the side of the cake. Invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or chilled.

Lemon Blueberry Cake

Blueberries! To me they scream SUMMER! I always get the very best tasting fresh blueberries between June and August. And during those months I start baking and making things that use these gorgeous little fruits.

This recipe is one from a coworker who only started baking last June. I had one taste and knew I needed to get the recipe. Then I made it the very next day! 😊

I’m so glad it’s an easy recipe. Easy and delicious…try it, you’ll love it too!

Ingredients

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup sour cream (8oz)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 medium lemon zest and juice, divided

1/2 Tbsp corn starch

16 oz fresh blueberries

Powdered sugar to dust the top optional

Instructions:

Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment.

Preheat Oven to 375˚F.

Blueberry Lemon Cake:

Beat 2 eggs and 1 cup sugar with whisk attachment on high speed 5 min, or until light in color and thick. Add 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt and whisk on low speed until well combined.

Whisk together the 2 cups flour with 2 tsp baking powder then add to batter 1/3 at a time, whisking to incorporate with each addition (DO NOT OVERMIX).

Finally, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1/2 Tbsp zest.

Rinse blueberries and drain well. In a medium bowl, toss blueberries with 1/2 Tbsp corn starch and 1 tsp lemon juice, stirring until well combined and no dry white cornstarch remains.

Pour half of batter into prepared springform pan and spread evenly. Top with half of the blueberries. Spread with remaining batter then sprinkle the rest of the blueberries evenly over the top, pushing them slightly into the batter (about halfway).

Bake at 375˚F for 45 to 55 min (mine was perfect at 55 min), or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cake rest in the pan 15-20 min then remove ring and cool until room temp or just warm. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.