The cherries in the market now are gorgeous. Deep red, shiny and plump. Of course I bought a big bag of them and I’m glad I did. The younger son and his wife dropped by for dinner with less than 24 hours notice and I like to always make an “enhanced dinner” when the kids stop by. By “enhanced” I mean 2nd helping portions, a creative starch and dessert at the very least. These are things hubby and I eat only occasionally, not because we don’t love them, but because of our potentially expanding waistlines. Anyway, back to the cherries. I had just used the cherries to make a cherry and pistachio ice cream just because it sounded great(it was), I had that in the freezer already. But I needed a cakey something to go with it. Not much time to cook or shop…what did I have on hand? I started at this huge bag of cherries and suddenly a dessert I hadn’t made in many years popped into my head. Clafouti!
Clafouti is a classic French dessert made by baking cherries into a pancake like batter. The result is a creamy custard filled with fruit. It is so easy as to be sinful just for the “easy” alone and to top it off, the ingredients, except for the fruit, are things you likely have laying around all the time: milk, eggs, vanilla, flour. It takes about 15 minutes active time to put this together, including pitting the cherries and a bit over an hour of cooking time. Of course you could take even less time and not pit the cherries-the traditional French way of making it-but be aware that I will NOT be responsible for any dental issues that arise!! Serve it with good quality store-bought ice cream and you have a rustic homemade dessert (or breakfast-yes it is!) that your guests will love.
Props to Julia Child for this recipe.
1 ¼ C. milk
2/3 C. sugar, divided
1 TBL. vanilla(yup, TABLESPOON)
1/8 tsp. salt
½ C. flour
3 C. pitted cherries* (I used red and white-just for pretty)
Some butter for greasing the pan
Powdered sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Grease an 8-cup baking dish with butter.
- Using a blender-or a very strong beating arm), combine the milk, 1/3 C. sugar, eggs vanilla and salt. Blend.
4. Pour ¼ of the batter into the baking dish and bake until a film of batter sets-about 8-10 minutes. Set the rest of the batter aside.
5.Take out of the oven and scatter the cherries and the other 1/3 C. sugar over the partially cooked batter.
6. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and sugar and bake until the clafouti is puffed (it will fall as it cools), lightly browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
7.Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
*To pit cherries:
De-stem, lay on a cutting board, press down lightly so they crack open, pull out the pit and finish cutting in ½. Wear an apron for this! Yes. Even you men. Or you will have cherry juice all over your clothes, trust me.