Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cherry Clafoutis

Last year when we were in the Drome I had my first taste of clafoutis.  It was cherry and I knew to watch out for the pits.  The French leave them in to give an almond flavor to the clafoutis.  Now that cherries are in season here in California I got the urge to make a clafoutis myself and bought myself a fancy 4 at a time cherry pitter to make the process easier.  Other than pitting the cherries, making a clafoutis is very easy.  I added some finely chopped almonds, to make up for the lack of pits, to a recipe in the Tartine Bakery's cookbook.  Clafoutis recipes vary widely.  I liked Tartine's, but the next time I made it I reduced the sugar just a bit ( from 3/4 cup to 2/3 cup) and upped the quantity of fruit a bit.  I have made it with Blenheim apricots and Len liked it even better. Feel free to substitute any stone fruit you like.

Tartine's Cherry Clafoutis
2 cups whole milk (I didn't have whole milk and used 3/4 cup skim and 1/4 cup cream)
2/3 cup sugar (I used organic) the original recipe called for 3/4 cup
1/2 vanilla bean
pinch salt
3 large whole eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 tblsp all-purpose flour
2 cups cherries, pitted (plus some chopped almonds)
1/4 cup sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 425.  Butter a 10" ceramic quiche mold or pie dish.
In a small saucepan, combine milk, 2/3 cup sugar, vanilla bean, and salt. Place over medium heat and heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, to just under a boil.  While the milk mixture is heating, break 1 egg into a heatproof bowl, add the flour, and whisk until free of any lumps.  Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until smooth.
Remove the pan from heat and slowly ladle the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking
constantly. (I scraped the seeds out of the vanilla bean.)  Pour the mixture into the mold and add the fruit, making sure that it is evenly distributed.
Bake until just set in the center and slightly puffed and browned around the outside, 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven, turn up the temp to 500.  Evenly sprinkle the 1/4 cup sugar over the top.  Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes to caramelize the sugar.  Watch carefully, as it will darken quickly.
Let cool on wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.  Serve warm or at room temp.
1/4 cup sugar for topping
The clafoutis is at it's best by far the day that it is made, but it still tastes great the next day.  It would be great for breakfast, but I have resisted that.

No comments: