Friday, September 1, 2017

Now, where were we?

Well, hello again, friends. It's lovely to be back and writing to you, especially on Sexy Girls Eat Dessert Friday - my favorite!

These last few years, I've cottoned to French cooking. While some dishes like the legendary cassoulet are famously complicated, most recipes are pretty simple. Once I cracked open Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking, gifted to me by my now-former mother-in-law, my trepidation vanished and I set about learning to make a few of these classic recipes.

By far, my favorite weeknight dessert, especially when fresh fruit isn't in season, is cherry clafoutis. This famous sweet, from the Limousin region in southern France, is made of cherries baked in a custardy batter and topped with cream. That's about it. With a blender, the batter comes together in less than a minute. The most difficult (and longest) part is waiting for it to bake!

Photo: TBR News Media. We ate ours before we could get a picture.

I'm told that original recipes call for unpitted sweet cherries, and that the cherry pits release a subtle almond flavor as they bake. Rather than risk a broken tooth, I use pitted, water-packed cherries (NOT cherry pie filling!) and add a smidge of almond extract to the batter. Sometimes, I use one can of dark cherries and one can of red tart cherries. My favorite brand is Oregon Specialty Fruit, partly because they have such pretty labels. Oh, and the cherries are good, too.

If you're a crazy person who dislikes cherries, try this recipe with an equivalent amount of your favorite fruit. Berries, sliced peaches or pears... It's up to you.

Ready? Here we go!

Cherry Clafoutis 
  1. 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  2. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  5. OPTIONAL: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 3 cups cherries, pitted
  9. OR two cans of dark sweet cherries, drained
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8-cup baking dish, cast-iron skillet, or deep pie plate. 

Put the milk, sugar, eggs, extracts, salt, and flour in a blender. Blend until smooth. 

Pour the batter into the baking dish. Add the cherries to the dish, distributing them evenly. 

Pop it in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. The clafoutis will be golden brown and puffed, though it will deflate upon cooling. It's done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Let cool until lukewarm. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or serve topped with freshly whipped cream. Makes an excellent breakfast treat, especially paired with a hot cup of black coffee or tea.    

    template by - header image (c)