Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry clafoutis_site

I said to myself I’d had my fill of cherries this season but I just couldn’t resist buying one of the last remaining boxes. Which is just as well, because Cherry Clafoutis has been on my recipe hit-list for the longest time.

I had a nice little recipe at The Guardian.com for Cherry Clafoutis saved to Pinterest and fully intended to use it verbatim, but it eventually morphed into pretty much the same recipe I used for the delicious Plum Clafoutis I made a while back. After all, why mess with something that worked so well?

And the result? Tart, juicy cherries enveloped by a rich, silky custard and topped with a dollop of softly whipped cream. It may be simple, but this classic French dessert really does stand the test of time.


CHERRY CLAFOUTIS

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 500g (2 heaped cups) fresh cherries
  • 6 Tbsp caster sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp kirsch or other brandy
  • 1/3 cup plain flour (I used gluten-free flour)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 drops of almond essence (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp demerara sugar, divided

Method:

  1. Wash the cherries, remove the stalks and pit them. Put in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and the kirsch, toss together, cover and leave to macerate for two hours.
  2. Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Put a 9” deep dish pie plate into the oven so it’s hot when you eventually pour in your custard.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk in the eggs until the mixture is completely smooth; then whisk in the milk, cream, almond essence (if using) and lemon zest.
  4. Remove the hot pie plate from the oven and put the butter into it, carefully swirling it around the dish until it’s covered. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the demerara sugar over the base.
  5. Add the cherries and juices into the pie plate (they should spread evenly in a single layer). Pour the custard carefully over the fruit (the pie plate will be very full). Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the custard is puffy and the centre is just set, but still jiggles in the middle. A toothpick inserted into it will come out mostly clean (a bit of moistness is fine). Don’t overbake it though as the custard will continue to firm up as it cools. NB: As the dessert cools, it’s normal for it to deflate a little.
  6. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon demerara sugar and serve warm, rather than hot (about an hour after it comes out of the oven is just right).

 Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting

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