Dense custard tart topped with sweet cherries makes an elegant French dessert.
By Sue Lau
Cherry clafoutis is a French dessert made with sweet cherries or sometimes other fruit that really is quite elegant, even if it isn’t a Francois Payard recipe. Although I imagine he has made more than his share. It is the best of both worlds between a cherry pie and a custard pie, and reminds me a bit of the flavor of a Swedish pancake topped with fruit (perhaps because of all the eggs). When made with fruit besides the cherries, it is usually called a flaunarde. And very much either of those is closely related to a Swedish pancake.
Usually this is made with dark sweet cherries, but since I was using them fresh and had to pit them myself, I gave myself a break and went with the Rainier cherries, which are golden in color with a little blush. They taste equally as wonderful as dark cherries without the chance that your fingers will get stained up in the prep.
Of course, you could use canned sweet cherries as well, draining off the syrup. I’m fairly sure if I did that I would take the syrup and cook it into a reduction or syrup and pour over the clafoutis then topping with a little whipped cream. Sounds good, doesn’t it? And you know, using a canned cherry helps take this charming dessert year-round instead of the short window in June when fresh cherries are available.
I did bake this in a 2-quart baking dish which wasn’t round, not that it makes a lot of difference, although some people might like to cut this in pie wedges. But even with another pan, different slices can be made. It’s not really that important unless you have two children standing side by side with rulers in hand to see which of the siblings gets the bigger slice. Rivalry. I can’t really blame them. Desserts like these can bring that out even in adults.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled to room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 pound stemmed and pitted fresh Rainier sweet cherries
- confectioner’s sugar (as needed)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 2-quart capacity baking dish, skillet or gratin pan, preferably round.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, cooled melted butter, vanilla extract, and milk.
- Pour into the baking pan.
- Place the pitted cherries in the custard mixture in a single layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes until set and lightly browned.
- Dust with powdered sugar when cool.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com