Traditional Cherry Clafoutis

Each month, my friend Elizabeth is dropping in with a special dessert in our One Last Bite series. Today, she’s sharing a traditional French dessert that takes advantage of summer’s ripe and juicy cherries. From Elizabeth…

Last month I shared a recipe with a perfect quick prep for a summer party. But when it comes to last-minute shindigs, this clafoutis [pronounced kla-foo-TEE] is the frenzied party-planner’s best friend. Not only is the prep work minimal, but I would bet you have most–if not all–of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

According to baking purists, a traditional clafoutis should be prepared with whole black cherries, including the pits, which supposedly infuse the flan-like custard with a richer, more complex flavor. Whatever the excuse, I’m just grateful I don’t have to pit the darn things and get cherry juice all over my pretty party dress.

If you’re feeling really ambitious, try sautéing the cherries in some brown sugar and butter before tossing them into your buttered dish. Don’t have cherries or rum? How about pears and amaretto? Or plums and bourbon? Or blackberries and brandy? A clafoutis will embrace anything you throw in it (a dash of cinnamon! nutmeg! ground ginger!). Have any fun combinations of your own? Share them with us—and enjoy!

Traditional Cherry Clafoutis
Recipe from Ceres and Bacchus 

3 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 c flour
1 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (or almond) extract
2 Tbsp rum
2 c sweet cherries

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Beat the sugar and the eggs with a wire whisk until they turn lighter in color. Gradually add the butter, beating to incorporate. Add the flour all at once and whisk until the batter is a homogeneous mixture. Next slowly pour in the milk a little at a time. Add the vanilla, and the rum if you are using it, mixing well. The batter should be very smooth and shiny.

Place the fruit in a buttered glass or earthenware baking dish, cake pan (9 or 10 inches in diameter) or skillet that can go in the oven. Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake in the pre-heated oven, approximately 30-40 minutes (mine was perfect at 30 minutes–check early and often), until slightly browned and almost completely set in the middle. Let sit at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate and serving (or serve out of the baking pan). Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Photos by Lauren

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