03 June, 2010

Cherries the old-fashioned way.

I missed the annual Pitchfork and Cherry Festival in Sauve, which was this past weekend. No matter, because I still got my hands on some of the first local cherries of the season. It was all I could do not to grab the paper bag of cherries, lock myself away and devour the half-kilo myself. Everything being delayed this spring, growing-wise, the cherry trees in my garden do have fruit, but it still looks more like small olives than berries.

A bag of cherries doesn't go that far if every seat at the dinner table's taken, so I decided to stretch the pleasure by baking them into a dessert. Clafoutis, which I've written about before, is a French classic from the Limousin region (the name is Occitan in origin). It has been around since at least the nineteenth century. While it resembles a cake, in texture it's closer kin to baked custard. The pits are not removed from the cherries, and give a deeper almond taste to the dish, which I sometimes enhance with a tablespoon of ground almonds. This is on my short list of the Easiest Desserts Around, and yet it also gets such rave reviews. Try it, and you'll see what I mean.
Clafoutis aux cerises (Traditional Cherry Clafoutis)

Serves four to six, depending on how many cherry lovers are present.

500 g ripe dark cherries (about four cups)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or half flour, half ground almond blend)
3 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk (or half milk, half cream blend)
3 teaspoons kirsch (or two teaspoons vanilla)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 200C. In a blender, combine the sugar, flour, eggs, the milk, kirsch, and salt until the mixture is smooth. Arrange the cleaned cherries in a single layer in a buttered baking dish (they should fit somewhat snugly). Pour the mixture over and bake the clafouti for some 20 minutes, or until the top is puffed, golden and springy to the touch. Once removed from the oven, the dessert will deflate a bit; this is perfectly normal. Best enjoyed while still warm.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting my blog and joining in the conversation!

Related Posts with Thumbnails