It’s rare that one approaches a dessert with trepidation. There should be a name for this anxiety that one is riddled with upon taking their first bite of cherry clafoutis. But the French seem to want to keep us guessing as to whether there are stones lurking in the cherries of this decadent dessert.
Hailing from the Limousin region of France, clafoutis consists of cherries baked in a thick batter and served hot or cold, with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. The dish gained popularity throughout France and the rest of the world in the 19th century.
Clafoutis purists argue that pitting the cherries leads to a drier dessert, and that the stones must stay because they lend an added earthy flavor note. One must investigate, chew carefully, and appreciate the dessert slowly.
We at Taste of Life say dessert should be enjoyed voraciously and without hesitation. So we developed the following recipe with pitted cherries just because we don’t need the stones slowing us down. Feel free to up the ante the second time you make it by using unpitted cherries and savor their juicy bursts in this traditional French classic!
Ingredients (serves 8):
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups of dark fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar (powdered)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter a 9-by-9-inch square baking dish or a 9-inch deep-dish pie round with the softened butter.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until it forms a smooth, thin batter.
4. Spread ¾ cup of the batter onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake for 2 to 4 minutes.
5. Watch the batter closely and remove it before it cooks through completely. It should just start to thicken and set when it is removed from the oven.
6. Transfer the dish to a heatproof surface and arrange the cherries over the hot batter.
7. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
8. Sprinkle the confectioner’s sugar over the finished clafouti and serve it warm.