11 August 2012

Cherry Clafoutis

If you look closely, you can see the reflected image of me taking this picture on a cherry...kind of like the BVM (or was it Jesus?) on the piece of toast!

Cherry season usually ends by the first week of August, but I found the most gorgeous bunch of sweet cherries at the grocery last week, so I decided to make a clafoutis.  I adore clafoutis aux cerises, but I haven’t made one in years, since our Le Bouchon days.

The clafoutis originated in the Limousin region, which is located southwest of central France.  It is an area best known for its beef (not so much to us Americans, who have our own beef) and its porcelain production (Limoges is the capital of the region).  A clafoutis is a cross between a custard and a cake; more custardy than cakey, in my opinion.  It is best when made with stone fruit, like cherries, apricots, plums, or peaches.  Really, one could use any fruit, including apples, pears, pineapple, mango, even tomato in this recipe.  However, be aware that your Francophone and Francophile friends may correct you severely if you dare call this dessert made with another fruit ‘clafoutis’.  If made with another fruit, it is a flaugnarde.

Pouring the batter over the cherries

Although this clafoutis is made with fresh sweet cherries, one could also use the frozen variety or cherries in a jar (morello cherries in syrup or liquor would be delicious!).  Also, one can use extract (like vanilla or almond) or liquor (kirsch, amaretto, Grand Marnier) to enhance the flavor of the fruit.  Sometimes I even pour the batter in a pâte sablée crust (a pastry crust with almond flour), but that is no longer a clafoutis, either.  Just a regular old fruit tart- but delicious, nonetheless.

Clafoutis aux cerises

Serves 4

I bake mine in a Le Creuset Heritage 2 (1/2 quart) dish, but you can use a tart pan, pie pan, or other baking dish...just adjust the recipe to fit the dish.

1 pound of fresh sweet cherries, washed, halved, and pitted
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1.5 cups of heavy cream
Amaretto, kirsch, vanilla, or other flavoring to taste (If using liquor, use about 2 tablespoons.  If using extract, about 1 teaspoon will suffice.)

Lightly butter the baking dish.  Spread the cherries on the bottom of the dish.  In a bowl, sift the flour.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, and flavoring.  Pour the liquid mixture slowly over the flour while whisking to mix.  Be careful to incorporate the liquid slowly, as not to get lumps!  Pour the batter over the cherries, until the batter reaches the top edge of the pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until the batter is set and the edges are brown and puffy.  Remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature.  You may sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if you want to be fancy! 

Finished clafoutis aux cerises

Grammar Correction!  Apparently, it is the 'jig' that is up, not the 'gig', as I erroneously referred to it in the post, Where there smoke...

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