Making a clafoutis is kinda difficult. Not difficult in the actual steps. That part’s pretty easy. Let me explain.
First, you have to pit the cherries…without eating too many of them. That’s where the difficulty starts. Once the clafoutis is in the oven, you have to smell it baking. You have to check it from time to time to make sure it’s not getting overdone, all the while trying not to think about that first bite. Then, THEN, you pull the clafoutis out of the oven and it’s supposed to be eaten warm! How in the world are you supposed to resist letting it cool even enough to dust it with confectioners’ sugar? See what I mean? Kinda difficult.
But those difficulties are so worth it. Never having eaten, let alone made, a clafoutis before, I wasn’t quite sure what t expect. From the ingredients and techniques involved, I had an inkling it would be somewhere between custard, bread pudding, and a simple snack cake. And it was. In the best possible way. It was moist, slightly sweet, just a bit rich, and bursting with fresh cherry flavor. In short, it was the perfect summer treat.
Sweet Dark Cherry Clafoutis
from Williams-Sonoma, Cooking from the Farmer’s Market
butter or baking spray
1 lb. dark sweet cherries, pitted
1 c. whole milk
1/4 c. heavy cream (I used half and half)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar (I used my vanilla sugar)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. sifted cake flour
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Casually arrange the pitted cherries in the bottom on the dish.
2. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk and cream until you can begin to smell it and small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.
3. While milk and cream are warming, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, salt, and almond extract until creamy.
4. Once milk mixture has come to temperature, remove the pan from the heat and vigorously whisk in the flour, a bit at a time, until no lumps remain. Pour a small amount of the egg mixture into the milk mixture to temper, then whisk tempered milk mixture back into the egg mixture. Pour over the cherries.
5. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake until browned, 45-55 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool just a bit. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm. Serves six.