C.Herries, like Asparagus or the 99 Flake, are one of those foods I can’t get enough of during their short but glorious season. I like to eat them straight out of the bag, but sometimes I manage to wait long enough to cook something and this juicy French batter is usually at the top of the list.
preparation 20 minutes
Macerate 2 hours
Cook 30 minutes
500g fresh cherries
75g powdered sugar
3 tbsp cherry, or other schnapps
20g butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tbsp demerara sugar
50g plain flour
1 pinch of salt
270ml whole milk
3 drops of almond essence (Optional)
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
1 Prepare the cherries
Start by washing the cherries and removing the stems; You are also welcome to core them, especially if you are serving this to very small people or those with sensitive dentistry, but roasting in the stone oven gives the fruit a more intense flavor and also saves you a fiddly job. Just tell your guests what Larousse Gastronomique recommends (and not to eat).
2 Time is on your side
This is a dessert that relies on the contrast between the rich, creamy batter and the intense sweetness of the baked cherries. So if you have the time, it can’t hurt to help the latter – however, if you’re in a hurry (and this is a very indulgent dessert for those in a hurry) skip to step 4 directly.
3 Macerate the fruit
Felicity Cloakes Clafoutis 3
Put the fruits in a bowl and mash them lightly so that the pods split, but the individual cherries still retain their shape.
Add two tablespoons of powdered sugar and the kirsch (you can also use cherry brandy or any other liquor that you think works with cherries; amaretto would be especially good), toss, cover, and leave two Macerate hours.
4 Prepare the baking dish
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C (160 ° C convection) / 350 ° F / gas 4. Grease a baking dish with a little butter that is just wide enough to hold the cherries in one layer, then sprinkle half of the Demerara sugar on top.
Turn the pan over so the inside is covered in sugar, then set it aside.
Melt 20 g butter in a small pan and set aside.
5 Start with the batter
Sieve the flour through a sieve into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt and the remaining powdered sugar.
Whisk the eggs in a jug, then slowly whisk with the flour, followed by the milk and melted butter until a smooth batter is formed. (If you are concerned about lumps, strain everything through the sieve).
6 Flavor the dough
Add almond essence and lemon peel if using – or substitute vanilla essence, orange peel, ground cardamom, rose water … if it goes well with cherries (and isn’t a confit duck leg), give it a try. You could even toss in a handful of chocolate chips if you’d like, although I prefer to keep it simple and leave the batter simple.
7 Cover the fruit with batter, then bake
Put the cherries and their juice in the prepared bowl.
Now pour the dough over it, then carefully push it into the oven and bake for about half an hour, or until it is just firm, but is still a bit wobbly in the middle; How long, exactly, depends to some extent on the shape and material of your dish, so check from 25 minutes.
8 Cool, then serve
Take out of the oven, sprinkle with the last tablespoon of Demerara and let it cool – like many egg dishes, Clafoutis tastes better when it’s not very warm, and in fact in France it is often served at room temperature.
Chantilly cream (whipped cream with a little vanilla and powdered sugar to taste) or vanilla ice cream are common side dishes, but I prefer a dollop of crème fraicheche.
9 Cherries aren’t the only fruits
This recipe works with most late summer fruits – small plums and apricots (best halved and pitted), sliced peaches and nectarines, blackberries, and even, in the fall, chopped apples and firm pears. Skip the maceration step on the last two and on more tender fruits like berries and use them right away (tossed in sugar and brandy first if you like).