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