There is no denying that the French reign supreme of the Dessert world. They are known to create exquisitely fantastical desserts worthy of royalty, or by contrast: make the most simple, unpretentious dessert a thing of longing. One such example, you see, is Clafouti.
Clafouti is as simple as it is practical, and you may very well already have the ingredients to make it! Clafouti (pronounced kla-foo-TEE) is a country-style dessert originating from the Limousin region of France. A traditional Cherry Clafoutis is made by covering sweet, unpitted cherries with a crepe-like batter and then baking it in a hot oven until it has set with nicely browned and slightly puffy edges (kind of like a souffle!). The batter that bakes around the fruit creates a light pudding-like texture—the perfect mix of fluffy and custardy. If you don’t happen to have any cherries, you can use anything from other stone-fruits to things like strawberries, blueberries or even apples! (Tip: if made with anything other than cherries, the dish would then be called a flaugnarde.)
One debate that I always found interesting about this particular dessert is wether or not to pit the cherries. I’ve heard many argue that not only for the sake of tradition, one stands to gain a lot of imparted almond flavor from the pits. So, I did a little test to see whether it made much of a difference.
What I found was that while the whole cherries made for a cleaner presentation and slightly fuller taste, ultimately, it wasn’t worth watching every bite to make sure I didn’t swallow the little pits. I mean, I suppose taking your time while eating dessert could prove beneficial.. But who would really want to? With that urgency in mind.. Onto the Star of the Post!
- 20 oz (600 g) fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
- 2 tbsp (30 g) butter, melted
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk
- 3/4 cup (100g) flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- powdered sugar
- As always, it is important to choose our fruit carefully. Buy Bing cherries that have their stems still attached, are bright and shiny red, almost black in color. They should be plump, firm to the touch, with no browning around the stems. Do not buy cherries that are soft or have brown spots, cuts, are wet or sticky, or have shriveled stems.
2. Raymond Blanc recommends that you macerates the fruit in kirsch (morello cherry brandy) and sugar for two hours before cooking, on the basis that “the sugar will slowly permeate the cherries and intensify their flavour”.
3. Although clafoutis is considered a dessert, you can totally serve it as a Breakfast or Brunch dish.