A lovely French dessert: simple custard-like batter is baked with fresh cherries. Delicious served warm, cold, with ice cream, or all on its own.
A few months ago, I stumbled upon a recipe for clafoutis at Foodbeam. I had never heard of clafoutis, but I was intrigued. It looked simple, yet delicious. And it was French! Meaning, it must be delicious. Though I had no cherries at the time, I substituted some frozen strawberries and served up the results at a brunch for my friends. It was a hit.
When cherries appeared at the market last Wednesday, I knew I would be making this lovely dessert again. Though these sweet cherries are delicious all on their own, they worked very nicely in the clafoutis.
This weekend, I prepared Julia Child's version of clafoutis for a friend's party. I liked some aspects of her dessert. Her version requires a thin layer of the batter to be baked for a few minutes before adding the cherries. At this point, an extra helping of sugar is doused upon the fruit before adding the remaining batter. While this step certainly improved the clafoutis, the recipe at Foodbeam had a smoother and creamier texture.
In a moment of genius last night, I made the clafoutis again. This time, I combined my favorite aspects of both recipes, and added a little almond flavoring to the batter. My husband and I agreed that this version was the best yet. I look forward to making this again when I go home to Michigan in a few weeks, where black cherries will be in season. I'm sure they will lend a deeper flavor to the recipe, and I look forward to comparing the two.
Here's my recipe. Note that I have adjusted it for farmer's market eggs. The eggs I buy at farmer's market are so large that I only used one for this recipe. If you are using smaller eggs, you may need to use two for this recipe.
Cherry Clafoutis for Two (maybe three) people
This recipe can easily be doubled for a larger crowd. Simply increase the bake time to about 45 minutes.
- 3/4 Cup Whole Milk
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1/3 Cup Sugar, divided into two equal parts
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 TB butter, melted
- 1 extra large egg (or two smaller eggs)
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh cherries, pitted
- powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In the meantime, combine milk, flour, half of the sugar, vanilla, almond extract, salt and butter in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the egg and blend again until thoroughly mixed.
Butter a small baking dish. Pour a thin layer of the batter into the dish. Bake for a few minutes until a firm layer begins to form on top of the batter. Remove from the oven. Spread the cherries on top of the batter, then top with the second half of the sugar. Pour the remaining batter on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.The clafoutis is ready when it is puffy with a light brown crust on top. The inside can look a little wobbly. Allow the clafoutis to cool slightly, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Enjoy this warm with ice cream or served cold. It is delicious either way!