Six (six!) years ago I wrote about cherry crisps and clafoutis. There was no clafoutis recipe, and that was the point. Thinking back once in a while, in various stolen moments throughout the ensuing years, I’d remembered the crisp recipe. (It’s good. Maybe make it soon?) But despite the dripping title of the post — Someday, a Clafoutis. — I hadn’t remembered the greater context of the prose. Guess what, you guys? It was all about moments of unfulfilled potential. The things we haven’t done. The people we haven’t become. The questions we haven’t answered.
Well. Last night I made a cherry clafoutis. And it was really good.
One box checked, then.
I wish I had the focus today to make this post a real sequel to that one. Step back. Take stock in a meaningful way. What’s changed? A lot, really. What hasn’t changed? Also a lot, and in many ways that’s a great gift. In other ways, it’s a strong indication that there’s work to be done.
But it’s early summer, and life looks like this. A little maniacal. A little…full. Not the most reflective of times.
So in the meantime, let’s talk cherry clafoutis.
Clafoutis is a just-right summer dessert hailing from the countryside of south central France. As the French do so well, it combines ease and rustic comfort with plenty of class. The liquidy batter comes together in the blender in a single minute and closely resembles crepe batter. It bakes up custardy but with a nice structure, so you can slice it into wedges or scoop it up with a big serving spoon. Leaving the pits in the cherries not only reduces the workload but also imparts a gentle almond flavor to the dish, which is a very good thing. Just let your eaters know to look out for them.
I’ll leave you there for today. More — of more substance — another time soon.
Cherry Clafoutis Recipe
Clafoutis is a simple, rustic dessert that hails from central France. It couldn't be easier to make. The batter comes together in the blender in a single minute, and you don't even have to pit the cherries. This recipe is adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You'll need a deep-dish pie plate or other baking dish that holds about 8 cups.
- 3 heaping cups cherries
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- Powdered sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Wash and dry cherries and remove stems, but leave pits in place. Use the butter to grease the baking dish. Add cherries and place in preheated oven for five minutes.
Meanwhile, make the batter. Place milk, 1/3 cup of the sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour into blender and process on high for one minute.
Remove pan from oven and sprinkle warm cherries with remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Pour batter into dish and place back in oven. Bake for about 55 minutes, until clafoutis is browned on top and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm (but not super-hot, because cherries retain heat like crazy and will burn your tongue, I've HEARD), sprinkled with powdered sugar right before serving if you like.