One has a rather small window to make this classic French dessert. It’s a bit of a waiting game. First you wait patiently for the first of the dark, sweet cherries to make their grand appearance. I shop almost daily in our lovely, quiet and delightfully old-fashioned village. We have a wonderful locally owned grocery store in Ladner. JARRY’S feature local and regional products. I have been buying shiny, ruby red cherries every day for a week or so, and today the cherries were deeply rich and sweetly ripe. This is where the waiting and tasting game pays off. The cherries are perfect for clafouti.
Clafuti is a crepe like batter poured over cherries and baked in a very hot oven. There are many recipes for this seasonal dessert and they are all variations of melted butter, flour (not much) a bit of sugar, several eggs , milk and ripe, plump cherries. It is traditional to leave the pits in the cherries. It adds to the flavour of the clafouti. Just remind your guests about the pits.
- 3½ tbs(1¾ oz) unsalted butter melted, plus more for the cake pan
- 1 pound cherries, stemmed (do not pit)
- A scant ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- A generous ¾ cup whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 400F / 200C
- Generously butter a 9-inch cake pan or ceramic dish. Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the pan stem down.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking power and salt.
- In a second bowl whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk and vanilla, and finally whisk in the butter.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and whisking gently add the milk/egg mixture and mix until you get a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter over the cherries.
- Bake for 30 minutes or so until the clafouti has puffed up and is beautifully browned.
- Let cool on a rack and set for at least one hour. Just before serving sift a generous amount of confectioners' sugar over the cake.
This very, very French dessert is easy to whip up and pop into the oven about two hours before you want to serve it. At the last minute I dust it with a little icing sugar. You can serve it warm or cool.