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from my table: cherry clafoutis

July 19, 2011

So I’ve been wanting to share this recipe with you guys for a whole week. And WordPress must have something against delicious cherry desserts, because it hasn’t been letting me upload photos AT ALL. And seriously, what is a recipe without photos? I just can’t do it.

Anyway, the good news is that today it’s working, so today you get to feel French and make some clafoutis. “Clafoutis” is a fancy French way of saying “a dense fruit flan.” There’s custard. There’s fresh cherries. You bake. You sprinkle with sugar. You consume.

Tres belle, non?

I used Julia Child’s classic recipe and made only one small edit. Traditionally, the French leave the pits in their cherries when making this particular dessert. The story goes that it is usually eaten outside, during the summer, so that when you come upon a cherry pit, you can discreetly and delicately dispose of the pit into the surrounding foliage. Or you can have cherry pit spitting contests in your backyard. I support both options. I prefer this traditional French route for two reasons. First, because I am lazy and pitting cherries is the least amount of fun on earth. Second, the pits add an almond-esque flavor to the custard, which is just a lovely, elegant touch.

But mostly, I’m lazy. (However, in this instance, “lazy” translates to “cultured and French”, so it’s actually a win. I like that.)

This can be served room temperature, warm or cold. I would recommend making it when you have enough people to finish the whole thing. I kept mine for a few days and even the next day, I didn’t find it appealing as leftovers. Then I sort of forgot about it and discovered it about four days later, harboring some kind of bright mold.

Don’t be like me.
Eat it all.
It’s fruit, it’s healthy.

As cherry season winds to a close, celebrate with this delicious French dessert. It’s deceptively impressive (you make it in a blender; it doesn’t get easier) and if you call it by its proper name (pronounced “cla-foo-tee”), you will impress people and win friends.

Also, you won’t have to pit cherries.
Bon appetit!

Cherry Clafoutis
From Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

3 cups fresh sweet cherries
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 granulated sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt and flour in a blender or food processor (I used an immersion blender to great success) in the order they are listed. Cover and blend at high speed for 1 minute.


Pour a 1/4 inch layer of batter in a 7 to 8 cup lightly buttered fireproof baking dish and set over moderate heat for a minute or two, until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from the heat. Spread the cherries and additional 1/3 cup sugar over the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top.

Bake on the middle rack for about an hour, until it is puffed and browned. An inserted skewer should come out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.


Serves 6 people

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