Cherry Clafoutis Batter:
1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoosn (25 grams) granulated white sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) milk (whole (full fat) or reduced fat)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 pound (350 grams) fresh sweet cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon (13 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar
Cherry Clafoutis: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Wash the cherries, remove the stems and pits.
In your food processor or blender (or you can do it by hand with a wire whisk) place the flour, salt, eggs, sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla extract. Process for about 60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the batter is completely smooth, let it rest while you prepare the fruit.
In a 9- inch (23 cm) heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably non stick), melt the butter over medium heat making sure the melted butter coats the bottom and sides of the pan. When the butter is bubbling, add the pitted cherries, and cook until the cherries have softened a bit and are coated with butter (about 2 minutes). Then sprinkle the cherries with the sugar and cook until the sugar has dissolved and turns into a syrup (1 - 2 minutes). Pour the batter over the cherries and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the clafoutis is puffed, set, and golden brown around the edges. Do not open the oven door until the end of the baking time or it may collapse. Serve immediately with a dusting of confectioners sugar and yogurt, creme fraiche or softly whipped cream.
Serves about 4 people as a breakfast/brunch dish.
Cherry Clafoutis or Clafouti (pronounced kla-foo-TEE) is a rustic looking French country dessert from the Limousin region that has become very popular in North America. Traditionally it was made with the first sweet cherries of the season, and the cherries were left unpitted so their kernels could release their delicate almond flavor as they baked. It is a pudding (custard) of sorts, very similar to the Apple Popover (pancake) recipe on the site. A Cherry Clafoutis is made by covering sweet cherries with a pancake-like batter and then baking it in a hot oven until the batter has set with nicely browned, and slightly puffed edges. The clafoutis should be served immediately, while it is still warm, with a dusting of confectioner's (powdered or icing) sugar.
Today, a lot of people prefer this dish with pitted cherries, which makes the clafoutis much easier to eat. Although clafoutis is considered a dessert, I usually serve it as a Breakfast or Brunch dish. The batter is easily made in your food processor or blender, although it can also be made by hand. Just mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl, and then combine the two. If you are planning to serve the clafoutis as a dessert, you may want to use a mixture of cream and milk (instead of just milk) to make the clafoutis slightly richer in texture and taste. As I said above, the clafoutis is best served warm with a dusting of confectioner's (powdered or icing) sugar and maybe a small dollop of yogurt, creme fraiche, vanilla ice cream, or even softly whipped cream. Although fresh cherries have a short season, we can enjoy this dish during the rest of the year. Instead of fresh cherries we can use bottled or canned cherries that are packed in a syrup. Just be sure to drain the cherries before using. If you want to make a clafoutis with other fruits, may I suggest using blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, plums, peaches, pears, cranberries, or nectarines. The only thing to keep in mind is that you may have to adjust the sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit.
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. Pitting the cherries is always a tedious job and the task is made easier if you have a cherry pitter. However, if you do not own such a tool, than you need to do it by hand. The easiest way I have found to do this, is to make a small slit in the cherry, with a small sharp knife, at the stem end of the cherry. Then, using the tip of the knife or your thumbnail, remove the pit. This process is best done over a bowl so any dripping juice will fall into the bowl and not stain your countertop. Because the cut cherries immediately start to release their juices, it is important to use them right away.