Early summertime is cherry season and traditionally this means adorning the top of a freshly baked pavlova with these juicy little jewels for Christmas day dessert. But if you want to try something a little different (and you wouldn’t be food lovers without a sense of culinary adventure) then may I introduce a dainty little dish called the clafoutis.
This fabulous flan-like dessert is a traditional dish of the Limousin region of France and is rather peculiar in that it contains cherries that are unpitted. It may sound odd and like a lot of work to ensure you don’t chip a tooth with every bite, but believe me when I say that the pips add an extra nutty nuance that makes it worth the effort. Just make sure you let your guests know before they tuck in!
Traditional cherry clafoutis:
- 185 mL thickened cream
- 125 mL full fat milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 3 free range eggs
- 60g caster sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 30g almond meal
- 400g cherries
- 1 Tbsp Kirsch
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F).
- Pour the cream into a small saucepan. Split the vanilla pod in two, scrape out the seeds and add both to the cream.
- Heat the cream gently for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat, add the milk and leave to cool. Take the vanilla pod out.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture becomes slightly white and foamy.
- Sieve the flour, mix it with the almond meal and then add it to the egg mix. Whisk well to avoid lumps.
- Gently add the cooled cream and whisk until combined.
- Arrange the cherries at the bottom of your cake tray (use a 23cm or so baking tray), pour the mix over the cherries to about ¾ of the tray.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden on top. A good trick to check if your Clafoutis is cooked is to plant a skewer into the centre, if it comes out clean then it’s cook!
- Dust with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of cream while still warm.
With this delicious dessert i recommend a Chateau Coutet “Sauternes” available from http://www.airoldifinewines.com.au