All of my French friends have been posting cherries all over their Instagram feeds, on Facebook, and on Twitter. It means one thing to me – Clafoutis! Every week, I check the prices of cherries and finally they were on sale a week ago. Happiness filled me as I thought about it finally being cherry season. I immediately wondered where my frosting tip was for the pitting the cherries. I’ve made this dessert enough over the last year, I decided it was finally time to get a cherry pitter. Let’s talk for a moment about said cherry pitter. I can hear the Alton Brown enthusiasts all screaming “no unitaskers!” Well, it is not a unitasker. It also pits olives.. in addition, it saves tons of time. The image below shows the usage of the frosting tip. It is exceptionally messy. I have made this dessert about 5 times with this method. It works but it is time consuming and messy.
Now with Monsieur Cherry Pitter – 15 minutes or less to pit a little over a pound of cherries. Super clean, quick and efficient. I do not know how many times I can actually say this but I LOVE THIS Cherry Pitter. Let’s compare – 15 minutes, clean and efficient, or one hour with a frosting tip that is messy and time consuming. Monsieur Cherry Pitter wins. Pits down!
I made this dessert a year ago on Father’s Day. This is a traditional French summer dessert. I know, I know, you are completely and utterly flabbergasted. I’ve made this recipe several times since last year and I feel it is finally ready to be shared with you, my lovely reader. Traditionally, Clafoutis is served avec the cherry pits! I have really tried to wrap my head around this one but I just cannot. I have a very handsome french male friend that disclosed to me under the strictest of confidence that he does NOT like it with the pits. If you’re reading this mon ami, je suis désolée, I did not reveal your name. I do know in Armenian cooking we utilize mahleb which is ground cherry pits for our sweet bread, Choreg. I decided to find something to replace the flavor of the cherry pits. I should back-up here and discuss the pronunciation – Klah-foo-tee (which I still get wrong and I take French and I am even a French tutor). It does not matter how you pronounce it, it is hands down delicious and EASY to make!
Now, back to the missing pits.. I have substituted cherry pits with slivered blanched almonds and some Disaronno – which is almond flavored liqueur. I feel this accentuates the dessert just enough without it being overpowering. The French really have this masterful way of balancing the flavor palate. I did a lot of research on the flavors the cherry pits would add. By all means, if you want to use the pits, go ahead just forewarn your victims, I mean, guests. I like the fact the almonds also add an additional edible texture to the dessert. Also, if you are allergic to nuts leave out both the almonds and the Disaronno.
I love this dessert for several reasons. I liken this batter to that of a crepe batter. The texture of the batter once cooked is super smooth, the cherries almost make warm jam filling with each bite. It is ALSO great as breakfast the following morning served cold. I normally serve this after it has cooled for about 30 minutes or so. It will be slightly warm. While it is still warm, I sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the top via a fine mesh strainer. It gives it a light dusting. This dessert is not overly sweet. It relies almost completely on the fruit for its sweetness.
I made this last year for my birthday party. I dusted the top with icing sugar, and gave all my friends a fork and we ate right out of the large oval baker. I know, it is complete insanity!
Clafoutis aux cerises
- 200 grams flour
- 120 grams sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- 80 grams melted butter
- 250ml full fat milk
- 500g cherries, pitted*
- 1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons Disaronno Liqueur
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a stick blender, incorporate the eggs, one at the time, beating well after each egg. When the batter is smooth, mix in the melted butter. Gradually add the milk, mixing well, so no lumps form. Add in the Disaronno. Strain through a chinois *(fine mesh strainer). The batter should be perfectly smooth. Set this batter aside (preferably in the fridge) for at least 1 hour. You want the gluten in the flour to relax. No one wants stressed gluten!
After the batter has rested for at least an hour, preheat the oven to 392°F and generously butter a 11 inch tart dish. I use my large Le Creuset oval baker for this.
Using your hands, scatter the slivered almonds, then the pitted cherries into the prepared baking dish.
Gently pour the batter over the cherries and almonds. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and quite firm. Wobbly in the middle is fine. Insert a cake tester into the center, it should come out clean. Slice the Clafoutis and serve with a dusting of icing sugar. Refrigerate the remaining dessert.
I love this dessert, have I mentioned that?
A slice pour vous!
*Chef’s Note – While I have not used another fruit, one could use plums, berries, figs, apricots. Do not be shy. If there is something you love better, go for it!