With the left over cherries that I had after baking the Tuesday’s with Dorie entry Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler, I decided to try my hand at a Clafoutis. I actually had all of the ingredients in my apartment except for whole milk, but I usually just substitute with the nonfat milk in all my recipes anyways. I compared a few recipes and decided to use the one from Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson. The recipe is pretty straight forward and contains basic ingredients. You can always substitute with any stone fruit that you have on hand: cherries, apricots, plums, etc.
The first time I had a clafoutis was a couple of weeks ago. I purchased one from a small locally owned pastry shop. They jazz it up by adding a shortbread tart crust, brandy custard, with pistachio whipped cream, chocolate lace, and a cherry. Extremely pretty dessert. Very nice flavor not too powerful. But they use canned cherries, and I am all about fresh especially if it is in season. For this recipe we are just going to tone it down and go back to the basics. Just vanilla custard with dark sweet cherries baked in. Sounds good to me :).
Time to have some cherry pitting splatter fun 🙂 YAY!!!!
You know what I have discovered. The best part of pitting cherries is the little bit of left over cherry flesh that is left on the bottom of the seed. Call me crazy, but picking off that little piece and eating it gives me a little bit of joy.
Okay, sorry, I am crazy.
But DAMN those cherries are yummy.
After it had baked and come to room temperature, I was finally a able to taste the clafoutis. Not too bad on my first try. Like anything custard you have to be careful for how long you cook it for. Since this was my first time I didn’t expect the center to still look unset when it actually was. That threw me for a little loop. It ended up being cooked a little too much. The flavor was nice, it had a hint of cherries and a vanilla background. Maybe next time I will use a little less vanilla bean paste. I used that instead of a vanilla bean. Also, you are supposed to sprinkle sugar on top and place it back in the oven and wait for it to caramelize. This took forever and didn’t turn out right, so I got out my kitchen torch and finished the work :).
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 Vanilla bean
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups/12 oz cherries, pitted
1/4 cup sugar for toppping
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a 10-inch ceramic quiche mold or pie dish.
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean, and salt. Place over medium heat and heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, to just under a boil. While the milk mixture is heating, break 1 eggs into a heatproof mixing bowl, add the flour, and whisk until the mixture is free of any lumps. Add the remianing 2 eggs and whisk until smooth.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, and remove the vanilla bean from the milk mixture. Slowly ladle the hot milk mixture into the eggs mixture while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into the prepared mold and add the fruit, making sure that the fruit is evenly distributed.
Bake until just set in the center and slightly puffed and browned around the outside, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the custard from the oven and turn up the oven temperature to 500°F. Evenly sprinkle the sugar ove the top of the clafoutis. Return the custard to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to caramelize the sugar. Watch carefully, as it will darken quickly.
Let the custard cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.