Clafouti Aux Cerises
When choosing cherries for this dish, choose sweet cherries (like Bings) that have their stems still attached, have no shriveled stems, are plump, firm and shiny, have no brown spots or cuts, are not soft and mushy and are not sticky. If you choose to use pitted cherries, the easiest way to pit them (if you do not have a cherry pitter) is to make a small cut, with the point of a small, sharp knife, at the top dimple where the stem has been removed. Remove the pit with the tip of your knife, or with your thumbnail, if you prefer. Since this process is a messy one, it's best to remove the pits over a bowl so the juices can be caught and kept from staining your countertop or floor. Plan to use the cherries as soon as possible, once the pits are removed, for optimum flavor and texture. Leaving the pits in the cherries infuses a wonderful almond-like flavor that won't be there if the pits are removed, but the danger of the pits and the messiness of removing each one at the table is not worth it to many people, so choose which method works best for you. This dish is wonderful and, although traditionally rustic, will bring an air of French sophistication to your table.
Clafouti Aux Cerises
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 c. whole or evaporated milk
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/3 c. white sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 lb. (4 c.) sweet cherries
- Confectioners' sugar
- Crème fraiche, plain Greek yogurt, sour cream or whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Using the softened butter, grease a 9-inch round deep baking dish, deep-dish pie plate or 9"x 9" square baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt until well-blended. Add flour, a little at a time, whisking with each addition, until batter is smooth.
- Spread 3/4 c. of the batter onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 2 - 4 minutes, watching carefully, so that it bakes only until batter is set and not until it cooks completely. Batter should just be starting to thicken and only slightly set. Remove from oven.
- Place the hot dish on a heatproof surface. Arrange the cherries, dimple side down, in the partially-baked hot batter. Carefully pour the remaining batter over the top of the cherries. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven when done, dust the top with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately with a dollop of crème fraiche, plain Greek yogurt, sour cream or whipped cream on top of each serving! Makes eight beautiful and delicious servings!