Clafoutis: the perfect five-ingredient dessert

June 17, 2010 in Provisions,Recipes

Little-known fact: I had a brief stint as an au pair in a tiny village west of Paris when I was 18. However, it only took me about two weeks to realize that I’m not cut out for the countryside or crying children. The only upside to country living? A backyard full of cherry trees and an introduction to fresh French cooking.

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One thing that I fell in love with was clafoutis, a baked dessert with cherries covered with a thick, pancake-like batter. When cherries started appearing at market this year, clafoutis was the first thing on my mind. My host mom lent me a well-worn cookbook of French classics, and after reading the recipe about 34 times to make sure I understood all the nuances, I baked my first clafoutis.

What it lacks in presentation, it makes up for in taste. I should have used a smaller pan, so that the batter almost covered the cherries, and I should have arranged the cherries a bit more artfully. However, my first attempt just leaves plenty of room for improvement. It tasted absolutely delicious–so much so that I devoured the entire thing in under 24 hours. Since it’s all fresh, pure ingredients, I don’t even feel guilty.

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What you need:
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar (80 grams)
1/3 cup flour (80 grams)
1 pound cherries
1/3 cup milk
1 shot of kirsch (optional)

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and remove stems from cherries–but not the pits. (A traditional clafoutis leaves the pits in the cherries because they release a wonderful flavor as they’re cooked.) Heat milk to a boil. Mix eggs, adding sugar and then flour. Add the boiling milk little by little while stirring to obtain a cream. (Note: you may not need all the milk, or you might need a little more. It should have the consistency of a light cake batter) Add a bit of kirsch if you have any. It will certainly bring out the cherry flavor, but it isn’t necessary.
Spray an oven-proof dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place cherries in the dish. Sprinkle with sugar before pouring the egg mixture over the cherries. Put in oven for 30 to 40 minutes. A few minutes before you take it out of the oven, sprinkle with sugar.
Don’t serve straight away. Let the clafoutis cool for a few hours before serving at room temperature.

Bon Appétit!

  • ShannonOD

    This is cruel and unusual punishment Christine – this looks amazing and I have no way to make it right now!

  • Anna Heidecker

    Alright, now I have to know. Is the kirsch worth buying simply for this recipe? If it makes all the difference, I'm on board. It could be because I'm starved, but this sounds amazing enough to make a trip to the store for tonight. It shall be my dessert, following my already planned/indulgent In-N-Out dinner. See? I had to make you drool too, otherwise this post just wouldn't be fair. :)

  • camorose

    You're killing me, Anna. In-N-Out is probably the first thing I'm going to eat when I get home! I certainly think you can get away with making it without kirsch–but if you make it and love it, it might be worth experimenting with adding the liquor. Let me know how it turns out!

  • camorose

    Next cherry season? You can make it with other fruits if you have access to them!

  • ShannonOD

    Will have to ponder other fruits- blackberries are in season right now! :-)

  • camorose

    I consulted my expert cooking source and confirmed that, yes, blackberries work excellently in a clafoutis. She just made an apricot and raspberry clafoutis–I think I might try that next!

  • Old Man

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious. Of course , to remove the seeds graciously was hard to do, but didn't stop me from enjoying the clafoutis. Looking forward to more of your recipes. Mimi

  • Old Man

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious. Of course , to remove the seeds graciously was hard to do, but didn't stop me from enjoying the clafoutis. Looking forward to more of your recipes. Mimi

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