Dessert

Cheery ‘Cherry Clafoutis’

June 30, 2011

Cherries for me are the essence of summer. Whatever the weather in Ireland, one bite of a deep red, juicy cherry makes me think of sweet warm sunshine and brightens my whole day. Amazing how the small things can change your mood.

I had been yearning for a new cookbook recently and out of the blue I had a visit from the Fairyhobmother who bestowed me with an Amazon voucher to buy one. Thanks to the delightful David from Appliances Online I was able to order Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc which arrived in the mail and brightened up my miserable old Monday morning. I was even more excited when I opened the book and landed on a recipe for cherry clafoutis. It’s a dish that I love and one that evokes so many good memories of summertime in France. The family I stayed with during a French exchange had cherry clafoutis every week and it’s a taste that I always associate with summer and good times. Cherry clafoutis is essentially a sweet batter with macerated cherries and encrusted with sugar. Simple, but extremely moreish. I made this dish on Monday night, but it was too hot to eat when I was going to bed. It looked so amazingly tempting when I woke up the next morning that I had it for breakfast with just a small dollop of crème fraiche. It makes for a delicious if not boldly decadent summer breakfast as well as being a great desert.   

So all in all it was a good week for me, despite the mercurial Irish summer weather. It could be a good week for you too as David the Fairyhobmother might just pay you a visit if you leave a comment below telling me what book you’d like to buy if you received an Amazon gift voucher.

Here’s how:

– 450g of fresh cherries stoned
– 50g of caster sugar
– 3 tablespoons of Kirsch (I used Cointreau)

Batter
 – 2 eggs
 – 45g of caster sugar
 – 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
 – 20g of butter
 – 20g of plain flour
 – 50ml of whole milk
 – 75ml of cream (I used creme fraiche)
 – pinch of sea salt

Stoning cherries without a cherry pitter takes a lot of time and patience and still usually results in squidgy looking crushed cherries. So, a cherry stoner is really the only way to go. It might seem like just another kitchen gadget but the OXO Good grips cherry stoner is such a nifty little tool that you will actually enjoy using it. It also works for olives too. I bought one recently and just love it. I began by stoning the cherries and placing them in a large bowl. I then drowned them in three tablespoons of booze and sprinkled on fifty grams of castor sugar. I didn’t have any Kirsch in the house, but did have some Cointreau so used this instead. It worked really well as an alternative. I placed a lid over the bowl and left them to gently macerate for a whole two hours.

An hour and a half later I started on the batter. Begin by heating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a ceramic / oven proof pie dish ( 20cm in diameter 5cm deep) with butter. Sprinkle some caster sugar on the greased dish and shake off the excess sugar.

In a bowl whisk the eggs, castor sugar and vanilla until creamy. Melt the butter in a saucepan until just pale brown or noisette. Add the flour to the eggs and sugar and beat until smooth. Slowly add the milk, cream, butter and salt. Finally stir in the macerated cherries and all their lovely juices. Place the mix into your prepared ceramic dish.

Bake for thirty to thirty five minutes in the pre-heated oven.  To test if it’s ready or not, you can insert a knife into the centre and it should come out clean once fully cooked. Leave to sit for ten minutes and then sprinkle with a dusting of caster sugar. You can eat it cold or just lukewarm with a dollop of crème fraiche or a scoop of creamy vanilla ice-cream. Yum 🙂

9 Comments

  • Reply Nami @ Just One Cookbook July 1, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Hi Vicky! Hmmmmm! Looks very delicious! I never thought of eating it with crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream. Nice. You are lucky that you had this in France! I hope to try it when I get a chance to visit. 🙂

  • Reply Eve July 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Ah Vicky, I grew up with clafoutis… YUM! Mam would make a big family one, and I doubt it ever lasted a day – not with me around. We never pitted the cherries though – easier to make, the cherries looked lovely and plump once cooked, and as kids, it was fun to spit them out!
    Thanks for the memories,

    Eve

  • Reply Eve July 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Oh and I would like to buy Emily a book I saw on Amazon yesterday – I think it’s called My Life So Far, and it’s like a giant diary.
    I’ve been writing her story since before conception, and think it could be cool to write it in there, then get her to keep filling it with special memories as she grows older. 🙂

    Actually, here it is – whatcha think??
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Suck-UK-My-Life-Story/dp/B001OIXVXK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309718863&sr=8-1

  • Reply Vicky July 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Hey Eve. Hope yourself, Chris and Emily are keeping well. I knew there would be a French person out there who would like the Clafoutis. It’s such a French dessert. Next time you’re all over, we’ll have cherry clafoutis. Love the book by the way. What a simple but great idea. You should definitely get it for Emily. I am getting very sentimental in my old age, so think all these kind of keep-sakes are so important. Chat to you all soon. X

  • Reply Noeleen Evans July 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I love Clafoutis and had it in France many years ago. I am a bit of a sucker for old cookery books and I am usually drawn to Elizabeth. The only one I possess is Summer Cooking published in 1955. It has the most beautiful illustrations and a joy to read.

  • Reply Noeleen Evans July 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Vicky, I am usually drawn to Elizabeth David. I am sure you wondered whom I was talking about…..

    • Reply Vicky July 5, 2011 at 7:34 am

      I got you! I love Elizabeth David. I’m currently reading her book ‘An Omelette and a Glass of Wine’. Her writing makes me laugh so much. I am definitely going to try out a few of her recipes soon.

  • Reply Jill Colonna July 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Hi Vicky,
    Love how you ate this for breakfast! Looks devine and can imagine it was difficult going to bed with the aromas wafting out of your kitchen. Great advice on the cherry pitter – next time I attempt anything cherryish, that’s the way to go. This is THE dessert that my belle-maman (mother-in-law) makes and so as a result, I don’t make it that often, if you know what I mean… 😉

    • Reply Vicky July 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for dropping by Jill. I’m sure you make really delicious cherry clafoutis. Though I agree it must be hard to compete with a French belle-maman who could probably make it in her sleep 🙂 This cherry stoner is really a good one, though as my French friend Eve pointed out, you lose all the fun of spitting out the pips!

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