Saturday, 11 July 2009

Cherry clafoutis

I was asked to bring a pudding along to dinner at a friend's house on Saturday. To take advantage of their short season I wanted to make something involving cherries. I was tempted by the cherry brown butter bars I'd seen on on the addictive site Smitten Kitchen but I was running out of time and, to be honest, got a bit scared by the idea of making pastry and brown butter for one pudding.

And then I remembered cherry clafoutis. A clafoutis is a billowy, almost custardy batter studded with fruit. Traditionally it should be made with sour cherries but they're difficult to get hold of in London, and the market near me was selling enormous bowls of normal cherries for £2.50.

This was incredibly quick and easy to make. I was lazy and made the batter using a hand blender, but even with a whisk or a fork it wouldn't have taken long. I wondered if it would be a bit flat because I didn't whisk the batter but it puffed up impressively in the oven. (I forgot to take the photo of it until it had been standing for about half an hour - I promise it was higher that it looks there!)

Cherry clafoutis - serves four

  • Two handfuls of cherries, or enough to cover the bottom of a 20cm deep-sided cake tin

  • A small lump of butter

  • 65g plain flour

  • 50g sugar

  • 400 ml of full-fat milk or single cream (I used 200ml of double cream because I had some that needed using up, mixed with 200ml of semi-skimmed)

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Stone the cherries; I discovered a cherry stoner in the back of a drawer but it's actually just as easy to squash them and take the stone out.

    Either whisk the flour, sugar, eggs and milk/cream in a bowl until it's smooth.

    Put the butter in the tin and put in the oven for a minute or two to melt. Add the cherries to the tin and pour the batter over the top. Bake for about 35 minutes until the edges are puffed up and browned and the centre is golden and looks set.

    I had a little bit of batter left over. I'd had a disaster last week with too much cake mixture in too small a pan and was anxious to avoid a repeat. Because the mixture was just a batter with cream in it I thought I'd try making a pancake with the remains. It was slightly softer than a normal pancake but good nonetheless.

    At that point I was getting overexcited and made a cherry sauce/topping by heating a small hanful of stoned cherries, a tablespoon of fruity red wine, two of sugar and a splash of water in a small pan for five minutes.

    1 comment:

    1. And very good it was too! (Hah! Found the link from last night)

      Potentially it could also work well with other fruit- gooseberries possibly?