Love and Confections: A Taste of Summer - Cherry Clafoutis

July 18, 2010

A Taste of Summer - Cherry Clafoutis

One of the best summer fruits are cherries! I remember sitting on the steps of our pool, as a kid, with a bowl full of cherries on the tile deck, and a bowl full of cherry pits right next to it. The sweet, and sometimes tart, fruit was always a welcomed treat. That was the life - a lazy summer day in the pool, a bowl full of cherries and lots of sunshine!

Unfortunately, when I recently purchased my cherries, they were not as good as I had hoped - and only discovered this at home. I had to use them rather quickly and decided to create a dish I had been thinking about for quite some time. I have never made a clafoutis and have always wanted to try one - it seemed so simple.

Clafoutis, or sometimes spelled Clafouti, is a baked French dessert with black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick, flan-like batter, dusted with powdered sugar and served warm. Clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France. Black cherries are the traditional ingredient, but other variations include: red cherries, plums, peaches, pears, apples and blackberries - when other types of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is called a Flaugnarde.

The traditional Limousin Clafoutis contains the pits of the cherries. Some bakers say, "the pits release a wonderful flavor when the dish is cooked. If the pits are removed prior to baking, the Clafoutis will be milder in flavor." I prefer to pit my cherries before baking, just in case. Many people opt for a cherry pitter, but I just did it by hand - with latex gloves on, of course - cherry-stained fingertips are not attractive.

Cherry Clafoutis
adapted from Joy of Baking

Cherry Clafoutis Ingredients:
- 65 grams All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 large Eggs
- 25 grams granulated Sugar
- 180 milliliters Milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 pound or 340-454 grams sweet Cherries, pitted
- 13 grams unsalted Butter
- 25 grams granulated Sugar
- Butter or Non-stick Cooking Spray
- Confectioner's Sugar for dusting

Cherry Clafoutis Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425F and place the rack in the center of the oven.
2. Prepare baking dish(es) by coating the bottom and sides with either Butter or Non-stick Cooking Spray
3. Wash the Cherries, remove the stems and pits
4. In your food processor or blender, place the Flour, Salt, Eggs, first measure of Sugar, Milk and Vanilla Extract.
5. Process for about 45-60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the batter is completely smooth, let it rest while you prepare the fruit.
6. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
7. When the butter is bubbling, add the pitted Cherries and cook until they have softened a bit and are coated with butter (2-3 minutes).
8. Sprinkle the Cherries with the second measure of Sugar and cook until the Sugar dissolves and turns into a syrup (1-2 minutes).
9. Evenly divide the Cherries into the baking dish(es).
10. Pour the batter over the Cherries and bake for 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.
11. Serve immediately with a dusting of Confectioner's Sugar.

Until next time,

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