When I saw these babies at the farmers’ market yesterday, I scooped up a bunch for the clafoutis I’ve been craving since Spring first came to town. Clafoutis is just about the simplest dessert you can make, which is a real godsend for someone with my limited baking skills; it’s just a pancake-like batter poured over some type of fruit and baked until the top is brown and puffed and the inside is moist and firmly custardy. The traditional Limousin way of making a cherry clafoutis (it’s such a fun word to say, I’m going to repeat it over and over in this post for the sheer pleasure of saying it in my head — clafoutis, clafoutis) is to leave in the pits; now, I may not be the most traditional cook, but I am a pretty lazy one, so let’s just say my arm didn’t take too much twisting to leave them in. And honestly, spitting the pits is good summertime fun, like doing the same with watermelon seeds.
So I washed and stemmed the cherries and put them in a round baking dish roughly the size of a pie plate…
And then I mostly followed Julia Child’s recipe for Clafoutis Ã la Bourdalone (cherry clafoutis with almonds) because hey, who doesn’t like almonds? Not me, that’s who. But if you don’t like them, I promise not to invite you over when I make this again, ok?
But I have a feeling you’d love this anyway.
recipe after the jump
Cherry Clafoutis with Almonds from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Child, Bertholle, and Beck
I took a few liberties with the recipe, but minor ones. I used vanilla sugar for the clafoutis instead of vanilla extract and granulated sugar. Also, the recipe calls for cooking a thin layer of batter in the baking dish before adding the cherries and proceeding with the recipe, but I was too afraid of cracking the dish over the flame, so I skipped that step.
3 cups cherries, pitted or not
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar for topping
powdered sugar for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter a 7- to 8-cup baking dish or 1 1/2-inch deep pie dish.
Place cherries in buttered dish. In a blender, combine milk and almonds and blend until almonds are finely chopped. Add 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, almond and vanilla extracts, salt and flour, and blend at high speed for about a minute.
Pour batter over cherries, then top with remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. (I used less than the full amount because the batter tasted sweet enough to me. But I don’t like overly sweet desserts, so take that for what it’s worth.)
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Sprinkle clafoutis with powdered sugar just before serving. Best served hot or still warm.