Originally from the Limoges region in France, the name of this dish comes from the Occitan word clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning "to fill up" (here: "the batter with cherries"). Clafoutis apparently spread throughout France during the 19th century. This traditional dessert combines all the best qualities of custard, pudding, and cake. When fruit other than cherries is used, it is called a "flognarde". With prunes, it is basically a "far breton".
The traditional clafoutis recipe requires that the stones stay in the cherries - for more flavor. This may very well be true. Personally, I absolutely hate any food where I have to be careful with every bite, not to break my teeth (or have to worry that my guests break their teeth, or choke). I suspect that the traditional recipe is sponsored and perpetuated by dentists. Obviously, my recipe uses pitted cherries...
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Baking time: 40 minutes
- Makes 8-10 servings.
- Keeps well, but won't last long!
- 120 grams (1 + 1/4 cup) "all purpose" flour
- 3 eggs
- 300 ml milk (1 +1/4 cup)
- 140 grams (1+ cup) fine crystal sugar
- 1 table spoon of real vanilla extract (not artificial vanilla flavoring!)
- 500 grams pitted cherries
- I use a big jar of pitted griottes cherries on light syrup. These are sour "morello" cherries. I like them best.
- Fresh or frozen bing cherries or other sweet cherries might also do.
- Do not ever use (or even buy) those pie-filling cherries that are canned with disgusting goo.
- Butter, at room temperature (for greasing the pan)
EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES
- Quiche pan, 25 cm (10 inch) diameter
- Medium size bowl
- Hand mixer
PREPARATION / DIRECTIONS
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F) - with circulation fan; without fan, use 190 °C (375 °F)
- Beat the eggs with the sugar - only beat just long enough to get a homogenous, light-yellow mass
- Do not over-beat: the batter will become to airy
- Add the flour and mix well.
- Again: do not beat for minutes, as the batter will get frothy and the top of the clafoutis will be "spongy" upon baking.
- Add the milk and vanilla, then briefly mix until blended and homogenous
- Grease the quiche pan with some butter
- Drain the cehrries and spread them out in the quiche pan - see photo below
- Carefully pour the batter over the cherries. They may tend to float, but that is OK.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is dark golden.
- As stated above, it may be that the top (just the top couple of mm) remains a little "spongy". This happens if you beat to much air into the batter. It will still settle some, when cooling down. If worried, just turn off the heat and let the clafoutis coast a while in the oven.
SERVING & GARNISH SUGGESTIONS
- May be served lukewarm. Do not serve cold, straight out of the refrigerator!
- With large seedless grapes (until recently, not easily obtained in... France) instead of cherries, it also turned out well. One of these days, I will try one with Armagnac-soaked prunes.
- I have made the same recipe with small blueberries (I used frozen berries; thaw out completely, drained well, and even squeezed out most of the juice). Not great, and I do not recommend it.
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