Category Archives: Clafoutis

How to Make Clafoutis

Having made so many clafoutises this week, er, clafoutees. No…clafouteece?

Having made so much clafoutis this week, I’ve learned a thing or two. Firstly, that there’s simply no comparison between a clafoutis made with unpitted cherries and one made with pitted cherries. The unpitted version wins the taste, texture and appearance trifecta hands down. Second, the old adage that the simplest foods are the hardest to perfect is true, true, true.

Preheat your oven to 350. Start with about a pound of cherries. Wash and stem them. A little more or less than a pound is fine, you want whatever amount fills your 9″ skillet or baking form. Yes, you can use a 9″ pie plate or tart pan if you want. Lightly grease it with butter before you start.

Next, combine your batter ingredients in a food processor or blender…

…and blend about 30 seconds until fully combined. Let the batter sit for ten minutes or so to let the bubbles rise and the froth die down, since a fine froth can create a rough-looking surface when baked.

Gently pour the batter into the pan. Don’t pour “around”, just stick to one spot so as not to coat too many cherries with batter. The batter is thin. Just let it rise around the fruit.

Keep going until all the batter is in. Unpitted cherries will float, so you need not worry about covering them.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour and you’re done! Serve warm or cold with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

For those of you who prefer to make clafoutis with pitted cherries, I have three tips. First, do as Julia Child recommends and pour about a quarter inch of batter into your greased pan. Bake it in your preheated oven for about five minutes to thicken it, this will form a sort of platform for the pitted cherries so they don’t sink in the batter. Second, leave the salt out of the batter, since even a small amount of salt will help draw juice out of the cherries. Third, reconsider using unpitted cherries.

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Clafoutis Recipe

This is a slightly doctored version of Julia Child’s recipe. I know, I’m fiddling with a classic, but almond and cherries go together just too well (hence a little Amaretto in the mix). I’m also “country-ing” up the thing by adding some brown sugar. Note that in another divergence from the original, I suggest that the cherries be left intact, not pitted. Pit them if you wish, but the end product won’t be as appealing, either to taste or to look at. And anyway, what’s a little pit-spitting among friends?

10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) milk
2.5 ounces (1/3 cup) white sugar
2.5 ounces (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
splash of Amaretto or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) flour*
1 pound (3 cups) cherries with pits left in
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Wash cherries and pull off any stems. In a blender or food processor, combine the milk, sugars, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Process until homogenous. Pour cherries into a 9″ cast iron skillet or 8-cup baking dish. Gently pour the batter into the dish. Don’t worry if the batter is deeper than the circumference of the cherries, they’ll float. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until the clafoutis is browned and slightly puffed. Allow to cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

* For an even more interesting flavor and texture, replace half of the wheat flour with almond flour or ground almonds.

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