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When I stepped away from my career to dazzle the world with my mothering prowess, just ask the kids how that’s working out for me, I looked for a thought-provoking tightrope that would suspend my brain between kid übering and spectator marathons of Little League games. UCLA sat 6 blocks from my front door.

Dreaming of being a less quirky (and less talented) David Sedaris, I enrolled in a creative writing class or two. It’s okay if you judge my writing ability at this moment and then hope I didn’t pay too much for tuition. I did. Those skills landed me assignments at this publication whose pay scale made minimum wage seem like one-percenter income.

My interest morphed into screenwriting. You know, when in Rome.

Since that first class of Plot Development, I have amassed enough classes to earn a kinda notable Writer’s Certificate from the University. For that, I have written all of one screenplay. I came to the program with a concept that I have rewritten each time I learned a new facet of screenwriting. For instance, nearly every film has a ‘pinch’ at about page 45 (minute 45 to you laypeople) introducing a mini-story that heightens the ride to the end of the film. Rewrite. I liken my scenario to the gardener who learns to produce a bounty by working on one plot of land each season. Mine was just one plot of plot.

With the Writers Certificate comes graduation – a ceremony, at Royce Hall, where David Sedaris performs, with speakers and all. Yet, I resisted the idea. My kids call me Jerri Blank, you know, the 40-yearold character who goes back to high school in the short-lived comedy series, Strangers with Candy, and portrayed by Amy Sedaris, sister to David. Coincidence? I think not. But, despite not knowing what to really make of it, I decided to attend the ceremony that will happen at the inconvenient time of 4 pm on a Friday. I doubt our speakers will rival Shonda‘s can’t have it all speechor George’serr in the act of kindness advice. No cap and gowns and a no individual parade of graduates. We wear ‘business attire’ and stand for applause. Yet, it’s recognition of something. Maybe that I worked at this thing long enough for completion. Or that I made it through the mean girls in class who text and laugh after everyone’s scenes are read. Or even that I earned a 4.0 which I can rub in my kids’ faces – like I said prowess.

So, what the hell this has to do with Cherry Clafoutis, escapes me. Oh, I know, when your day is filled to the brim with work and chores and duties and dreams, make this ever-so-easy, eggy, crepe-like, dessert to celebrate stone-fruit season and that you made it to the end. Rest well, and in the morning, serve it to your family breakfast while you sip hot black strong coffee on the stoop and think – shit, now what?

cherry clafoutis

The French word clafoutis derives its meaning from the verb ‘to fill’. Often we rely on crumbles and crisps to present our fruit filling in baked dessert form, but a clafoutis is just as easy. It contains less sugar and less flour than most baked desserts, and who can deny the egg protein boost.

Preptime: 15 minutes serves 8

Baketime: 30-40 minutes

Resttime: 15 minutes

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (or almond) extract
  • 2 c black cherries (or other fruit)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Pit the cherries – this tool is must.
  3. Melt butter.
  4. Butter a glass dish or cast-iron skillet 9-10″ diameter, or a dish roughly the same general size.
  5. Beat the sugar and the eggs with a wire whisk until they turn lighter in color.
  6. Gradually add the melted butter, beating to incorporate.
  7. Add the flour all at once and whisk until the batter is a homogeneous mixture.
  8. Next slowly pour in the milk a little at a time.
  9. Add the vanilla mixing well. The batter should be very smooth and shiny.
  10. Place the fruit in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the fruit.
  11. Bake in the pre-heated oven, approximately 30-40 minutes , check early to avoid burning. It should be slightly browned and almost completely set in the middle.
  12. Let sit at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate and serving or serve out of the baking pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • use blueberries instead of cherries to avoid the pits, but then you have to call it a flaugnarde instead of clafoutis.
  • make batter ahead of time, storing in refrigerator, letting come to room temperature before you need to bake.

recipe inspired by the comments section of smitten kitchen and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com


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