Cherry clafoutis, a simple dessert made from peasants in the Limousin region of France, is called “Cherry clafoutis”. The stone fruit is baked in a custard batter with flour. The batter is suspended with plump, juicy cherries. A sprinkle of sugar on top creates a crispy crust.
This is my favorite dessert to highlight the best of fruit.
I was trying to find a recipe to share with you, and Lisa Donovan, pastry chef, gave me two options. “Julia Child’s is a good one.” David Lebovitz has a great recipe. The two recipes are very similar with minor differences in the sugar and extracts used. It’s difficult to disagree with Lebovitz, and the recipe shared here is closer than Lebovitz. He writes that the recipe is meant to be rustic and casual, but you can personalize it as well. I followed his lead.
To suit my taste for sweet desserts that aren’t too sweet, I cut down on the sugar. Also, to make up for the extra confectioners sugar that was added before serving, I also reduced the sugar a little. To enhance the flavors, I added salt to the dish, as I noticed it was lacking in his version. To give the dish a bolder flavor profile, I increased extracts.
Pitting cherries is the most difficult part of this recipe. However, you can use previously frozen cherries that have been thawed and skip that step. Traditional recipes for clafoutis don’t recommend pitting cherries. This could be dangerous as it can cause an almond-like flavor in desserts. Almond extract, however, produces the same effect without causing a chipped tooth.
The rest of this recipe is very easy. You can mix the batter in a blender in a few seconds. Alternatively, you can make it by hand by beating the eggs and sugar together until smooth. Next, add the flour and salt to the mixture and then finish with the milk extracts and milk. To make a crust, drizzle the batter on the pitted cherries and bake in the oven until it is set. Once the batter is out of the oven, sprinkle it with confectioners’ sugar.
Cherry clafoutis can be eaten warm or cold. It’s delicious on its own but a dollop or two of vanilla ice cream or cream would be nice.