Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cherry Clafoutis

I know I owe you all a savory dish at this point, but I couldn't move on until I shared this recipe. Cherry season doesn't last forever so you'll need to jump on these delicious fruit before they are gone. Basically a clafoutis is fruit topped with a pancake like batter and baked until puffed and golden. VERY simple. Traditionally this French dessert is made with cherries, and after my first experience making it, I would say that there is a reason for that.

Last Sunday I went to the Chester Sunday Market. It is by far my favorite farmer's market here in Connecticut. There are so many amazing vendors and I always feel very inspired while walking around. Last week was no exception. In addition to buying my first whole fish (a post for another day!), I purchased a half pound of tart cherries grown here in Glastonbury. I had never had fresh sour cherries, and they definitely put a pucker on my face. I was very excited about how they could be transformed.

So that was last Sunday. The entire week flew by and before I knew it, it was Friday and those darn cherries were still sitting in my refrigerator starting to go bad. It was 9 PM when I decided on my plan of action. A little late for starting a recipe but I was afraid that if I waited a few more days they would go to waste. I thought I would make them for a BBQ I was attending the next day (though clafoutis and BBQ don't really sound like they go together....). Well it turns out that I didn't have enough cherries to share, so I halved my recipe and made just enough for me! I also didn't finish getting everything together until 10 PM and decided that I wouldn't be up until 11 waiting for dessert to cook, so took the risk in placing the uncooked clafoutis in the fridge and then baked it off the next morning. Well obviously we know how the story ended (otherwise I would be writing about pasta salad or zucchini). Clafoutis will be my new go to dessert. Maybe not for a BBQ, but definitely for a nice intimate gathering. This is best served a bit warm with some fresh cream, gelato or just some powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Or, if you are like me, you can just eat it out of the fridge between holiday weekend outings!

Cherry Clafoutis

Serves 6-8

(As I mentioned in my post, I halved this recipe for myself and used 4 individual pie plates. I simply divided the cherries and batter among the plates and baked for 30 minutes instead of 40.)

1 pound tart cherries, pitted
6 plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar (if you can only find sweet cherries, half the amount of sugar, or if you like it less sweet, adjust the sugar as you like)
1 tablespoon brandy
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie dish.

Combine the pitted cherries with brandy and 6 tablespoons sugar. Let macerate for 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove cherries to the baking dish, reserving the liquid.

In a bowl, combine flour, remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, salt, milk, eggs, butter, vanilla, and liquid from cherries. Beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides if needed. Pour batter over cherries. Bake for 40 minutes until batter is set and golden brown. Let cool a bit before serving. Serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream or a dusting of powdered sugar.

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