As much as I love baking a cherry pie during cherry season – and I do – my middle-aged dessert preferences continue leaning in a less sweet direction. For fruit-based desserts, I want to really taste the fruit. If you get my drift, join me on a clafoutis adventure.
A cross between a custard, a cake and maybe even a waffle, clafoutis (say kla-foo-TEE) is a homey fruit dessert hailing from the south-central region of France known as Limousin. The mild-mannered egg- and milk-enriched batter provides structure but also lets the fruit shine. Of course, it’s a delightful after-dinner treat, but because of its subtly sweet nature, clafoutis is perfect for your next brunch.
Cherries are traditional, but other stone fruits – apricots and not-quite-ripe nectarines are fair game, too. (Peaches are too juicy).
Allons-y! (Let’s go!)
- 1 pound sweet or tart cherries, pitted
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Zest of 1 lemon, grated
- 3 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- ¾ cup flour
- 8 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Optional: ½ cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a small bowl, stir together the cherries, ¼ teaspoon of the almond extract, cinnamon and zest. Let macerate while you work on the batter.
Butter a 9-inch baking dish or similar sized cast-iron skillet.
Place the eggs, milk, flour, 5 tablespoons of the sugar, the remaining ¼ teaspoon of almond extract and salt in a stand blender or food processor and process until well blended.
Transfer the cherries to the greased dish and arrange in a single layer. Pour the batter on top. Sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar on top and the almonds, if using.
Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Resist the urge to overbake, or the final result will be dry.
Let cool a few minutes before serving.