So this morning I was feeling a little less than chipper thanks to 6.5 hours of sleep (still working on reversing the deficit). As writing deadlines and a growing to-do list loomed, my mood was brightened by the recollection that there was a mountain of cherries in the refrigerator, as well as a clay baking pot in the cupboard.
The combination of the two plus a 325-degree oven for 30 minutes mean one of my favorite and most juicy ways to enjoy fruit. If I do say so, it’s one of the best and most simplest dishes I’ve invented to date. OK, I know I’m not the first one to discover the concept of baked fruit, but the first time I tasted the utter purity of a baked cherry with no interference from sugar or flour, I shimmied with joy. It had all the allure of a pie or cobbler with none of the labor or calories. I’ve since gone on to work similar magic with blueberries, raspberries, nectarines, apples, and peaches. But it’s cherry and blueberry season and for the time being, I’m going to be doing a whole lot of this in the morning:
A baking tip: I suggest using a lidded casserole dish or clay pot. My particular favorite is a line of Cazuelas made in Spain that’s crafted from 100% mud. In other words, no lead. I got it at the Hamada Egyptian Bazaar in Saratoga Springs, but they’re available online.