I cannot tell a lie. Well, of course I can and often do so when the occasion demands. But in this case I am discussing cherries, which makes me think of George Washington, which makes me think of his alleged aversion to prevarication. So I will fess up and say that the subject of this blog, Cherry Clafoutis, has been previously covered in a 2013 blog My Cherry Amour.
On the theory few of you read the prior blog, for expediency I was going to incorporate many of its pithy and verily humorous comments into this blog. After all, as Frasier said: “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” But rather than accept my shortcomings and be accused of dubious character, I checked with Sous Chef the attorney. While he did not think one could plagiarize oneself, he thought it artless to engage in wholesale repetition. So here is a semi-fresh look at that delightful dessert invention, Cherry Clafoutis.
Last time I created my own recipe—oops, I mean last time I created a recipe that was based on other recipes. For this week’s Sunday edition of Weekend in a French Kitchen, the Cherry Clafoutis recipe is courtesy of Mimi Thorisson’s A Year in a Kitchen in France. Her recipe is simpler than mine, uses regular flour instead of almond flour, and skips the hazelnuts, cheese, and sour cream. But cherries are the star of this dish and the other items I included are merely a supporting cast. At day’s end, Mimi’s Cherry Clafoutis is lusciously light and, just like in my dish, the cherries provide notes of tangy sweet–sourness and hints of tobacco and tannic tea. Unless you want to bankrupt the tooth fairy, use pitted cherries. The French leave the pits in so the batter does not get stained! But better some juice stains than blood stains I always say. However, through some molecular reaction I could not possibly understand, baked cherry pits emit a highly popular flavor that is purportedly second only to vanilla within the United States flavor and fragrance industry. To avoid this “pitfall,” just add a splash of almond extract.
Aurevoir and Bon Appetit until next week!
- 500 g/ 1 pound cherries
- 4 eggs
- 50 g/ 3 & ½ tbsp salted butter, melted and extra for lining the cake pan (you can use plain butter if you prefer)
- 200 ml/ 0.8 cup full milk
- 100 g/ ¾ cup + 2 tbsp plain flour
- 60 g/ ⅓ cup plain sugar
- 1 packet of vanilla sugar (7.5 g/ 1½ tsp)
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat oven 200°C/ 400 F
- Butter (generously) a cake pan.
- Rinse cherries and pat them dry. I leave the stones but you can remove them if you prefer)
- Place them in the bottom of the cake pan.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and vanilla sugar. Add milk and eggs (one by one), whisking gently. Add orange blossom water and butter, mix until you get a smooth batter.
- Pour batter on top of cherries.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C/ 400 F, then lower heat to 180°C/ 350 F and cook for a further 30 minutes. Leave to cool and set (the clafoutis will be all puffed up and set evenly).
- Sprinkle icing sugar and serve immediately