Cherry Clafouti

Cherry Clafouti

Everywhere I turn, there are cherries, brilliant dimpled burgundy globes bedecking grocery produce shelves. And tomorrow is the 4th of July–which makes the call of cherries even louder. I mean, wild cherries, indigenous to North America, are truly an American fruit.

How wonderful it would be, to sit under a shady tree, barefoot, eating a bowl of cherries on the 4th of July!

But–I am allergic to stone fruit (a sad recent development)…which limits me to only cooked versions of this magical fruit. This has had me on quests for excellent ways to cook stone fruit, such as the almond plum buckle, a heavenly and delightful cake, last year.

ready to make cherry clafouti

But back to cherries!

Aside from the beautiful assortment of pies (oh, I do love a good peach pie, or cherry pie)…how to cook stone fruit? One of the classic recipes for cherries is a cherry clafouti (and I found Julia Child’s iconic recipe), a dish that is a simple and wonderful showcase for the fruit.

And so I began on the clafouti–and was amazed at its simplicity and incredible result. The most labor intensive part of making this dessert was pitting the cherries (which I did by hand, splitting each cherry open and extracting the pit), a happy and juicy task.

cherry clafouti in progress

The end result? Delicious. The cherries were still juicy and insulated in a custardy, eggy cake. I can’t wait to eat this under the fireworks tomorrow.

Recipe follows after the jump…

Julia Child’s Clafouti
serves 6-8

1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla (my note: you can substitute, or add 1 Tablespoon of almond extract)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
3 cups cherries, pitted
1/3 cup sugar
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a blender blend the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter in a buttered 7 or 8 cup lightly buttered fireproof baking dish. Place in the oven until a film of batter sets in the pan. Remove from the heat and spread the cherries over the batter. Sprinkle on the 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about for about 45 minutes to an hour. The clafouti is done when puffed and brown and and a knife plunged in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve warm.

Cherry Clafouti

15 responses to “Cherry Clafouti

  1. I, too, am allergic to all stone fruits, so I’m always up for recipes which feature them in a cooked state. I just recently made another sour cherry clafouti. I love how easy they are to make. Just a suggestion – next time you want to pit the cherries easily, just use a drinking straw and push the seed right through. Works like magic.

  2. Coincidentally, I’m making a cherry dish for the 4th today–a cobbler or crumble–whatever the name is for the fruit dish baked with a crunchy topping (I’ll have to find out what the name is if I want to blog abt it). I’ve never made a clafouti–it looks excellent.

  3. Christiane: thanks for the tip on the drinking straw! I’ll have to snarf some the next time I’m out to eat. :)

    Lucette: Happy 4th! Your question intrigued me so I went and googled for an answer. I found several! One on Chocolate and Zucchini and another at abc7 chicago, and another at Food Network.

    The answer from Mr. Food at ABC7 (very concise answers)…
    * Betty or brown betty: fruit, usually apples, baked between layers of buttered crumbs
    * Buckle: cake batter made in a single layer, dotted with fruit, and sprinkled with a streusel topping
    * Cobbler: a deep-dish dessert made either in a pastry-type thick crust or with a drop-biscuit or crumb topping
    * Crisp: the same as a crumble, except it usually includes rolled oats in the topping
    * Crumble: a baked dish with fruit on the bottom and a crumb topping that can include nuts, graham cracker or cookie crumbs, flour, and/or bread crumbs
    * Grunt or slump: sweetened fruit topped with dollops of dough and cooked on the stovetop, similar to a steamed pudding
    * Pandowdy: a deep-dish dessert with a crumbly biscuit topping, usually made with apples sweetened with brown sugar

    And the answer at Food Network:
    All of these quick and simple desserts are made of fruit topped with a biscuit dough or a crumbly mixture of flour, butter, and sugar.

    If biscuit dough is dropped by the spoonful on top of the fruit, it makes a lumpy, “cobbled” surface–like a street paved with round stones–and so the dish is a cobbler.

    Traditionally, if the biscuit is stirred into the fruit during cooking, it’s a pandowdy.

    To be a crisp, a crumble, or a crunch, the fruit must be topped with some variation of a butter, sugar, and flour topping. Typically, a crumble has flour, sugar, butter, and oatmeal; a crisp has flour, sugar, butter and nuts; and a crunch has sugar, butter, and breadcrumbs. There are also cake-like (instead of biscuit-like) variations, which include brown betties and buckles.

    Some of the funny names, which date back to early American cooking, have a British influence (you know, the people who created bubble and squeak). Slumps and grunts, for example, both have a large biscuit over the fruit. But a slump is cooked uncovered, so it slumps on the serving plate, and a grunt is covered, which steams the biscuit topping and lets the fruit gurgle–or grunt–while cooking.

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  5. I’ve made enough cherry pies that I wound up investing the six bucks for a handheld pitter, which works pretty well. You can also use it for olives.

    However, traditional clafoutis calls for leaving the fruit unpitted; the French claim that doing so enhances the flavor (I suspect they were just being lazy). I usually leave them in, and no one complains… I just make sure I inform anyone I might serve!

  6. Connie–oh yes, I hear the truly traditional clafoutis do use unpitted cherries–lending a very unique flavor. But–in my case, I’m so allergic to the raw stone fruit (and the allergy stems from something in the pits of the fruit) that I leave the pits out!

  7. Allergic to stone fruit! :( :( That sounds terrible. However, your clafouti looks delicious. AND I love the name of this blog!

  8. Thank you, Nanners–I am glad you like the name “Muffin Top” and all its different meanings. :)

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  13. I too am allergic to raw stone fruit although I am also OK with it cooked. However, I couldn’t have pitted all those cherries by hand – just cutting up 3 peaches for a baked dessert brought my hands up in a rash that lasted for over an hour even though I washed them straightaway.

  14. That looks lyke an excellent recipe! my brother just flew in this afternoon from Australia with a whole box of cherries! can’t wait to try this!

  15. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

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