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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!)

Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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.