A clafouti is a simple, country-style French dessert made by topping fresh fruit (most commonly cherries) with a very lightly sweetened custard mixture and baking it until puffed and golden. We went the traditional route here and used the cherries, but plums, peaches, pears and apples are all viable possibilities.
- 1 lb fresh cherries, pitted
- 2 tablespoons cherry brandy (Heering Cherry Liqueur)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the cherries, brandy and 1/2 tablespoon of the melted butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring several times (see notes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Generously butter a 9-inch pie plate and, using a slotted spoon, arrange the cherries in a single layer in the bottom. If desired, you can reserve the cooking liquid from the cherries to replace some of the milk in the custard. This definitely adds flavor, but it will darken the color of the finished clafouti somewhat. If that doesn't concern you, we highly recommend the added flavor.
Whisk the eggs, remaining melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the flour in tablespoon increments, whisking until smooth after each addition, then whisk in the milk.
Pour the custard over the cherries and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.
Makes 8 servings
Many recipes recommend macerating the cherries for a couple of hours in brandy or kirsch instead of cooking them briefly like we do. If you like a stronger brandy flavor, you can certainly follow that method. This is the type of recipe that allows room for experimentation. We like to cook the cherries just a little to end up with a milder brandy flavor and a softer fruit texture.