Monday, June 29, 2015
So what is a clafoutis? Looking at the ingredients, you can see it's kind of a cross between a flan and a baked crepe. It's also very easy to whip up, once you spend half an hour getting the pits out of the cherries. In a truly traditional recipe, you don't worry about the pits and just warn the diners not to bite down. Supposedly, they impart a slightly nutty flavor. I wanted to do a variation where you soak the cherries overnight in liqueur, and you have to pit them for that.
Also deviating from Julia Child's original recipe, I sprinkled the top with rolled oats. I wanted to give it a slight crunch and compensate for the guilt of eating a "dessert" for breakfast. This is probably healthier than waffles because there's no oil or butter in the batter. There's just an awful lot of sugar. I bought sweet cherries and was able to cut back to 1/2 C, but tart or Rainier cherries are going to require all of it.
3 C cherries, pitted and stemmed
*1 Tb kirsch or brandy
1-1/4 C milk
2/3 C sugar (or less, depending on sweetness of fruit)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C flour
2 Tb raw rolled oats (optional)
powdered sugar for dusting
1. Drizzle kirsch over pitted cherries and cover. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
2. Butter a 10" oven-safe skillet, casserole, or cake pan. Preheat oven to 350º.
3. Place milk, half of the sugar, eggs, extracts, salt, and flour in the blender. Run until mixture is very smooth and the consistency of cream.
4. Pour enough batter into the bottom of the dish to coat it evenly. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until batter is mostly set. This will keep the cherries from burning into the bottom of your dish and make it much easier to serve.
5. Remove casserole from the oven and arrange the cherries evenly on the spongy bed. Go ahead and pour the kirsch over it; this is why we used way less vanilla than the original recipe. Sprinkle cherries with the remaining half of sugar, then pour all of the batter into the dish. Shake slightly to make sure the batter has been evenly distributed. If using oatmeal, sprinkle it on top now.
6. Return dish to oven (remember that it's still hot before grabbing it) and bake for an additional 50 to 60 minutes, until set and puffy. Within a few minutes of pulling it out, it's going to deflate. It's supposed to. There isn't much flour in there to hold it up. Give it a good chance to rest and firm up if you expect to slice and serve it. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve warm.
Serves 4 as breakfast, 6 to 8 as dessert
Difficulty rating π (with pitting the cherries, :) )