Monday, June 7, 2010

Cherry and Blackberry Clafoutis, Pits Not Included

cherry and blackberry clafoutis

Clafoutis. You've eaten one. You've probably baked one. You've definitely heard of one. But can you define one? What is a clafoutis?

It's not quite a cake or a custard or a flan or a pudding. It has been called lots of names, including "a baked fruit dessert," "a baked custard with fruit," "a crustless pie," "a fruit-fill flan," and my personal favorite, "a sweet frittata." Purists called it a flognarde, but that lacks the panache of clafoutis (pronounced cla- foo-tee).

Clotilde Dusouslier, the charming Parisian food blogger, calls clafoutis "the epitome of the French grandmotherly dessert: unpretentious, easy to make, and blissfully comforting."

Call it what you will, especially if you're high school French is a little rusty. Just be sure to make one.

With its eggy base, I place clafoutis in the realm of custard rather than cake. This prized Limousin dessert is traditionally made with cherries though gets along equally well with fruits such as pears, apples, and berries of all sizes and colors.

Although clafoutis can be enjoyed year-round, they're particularly partial to spring time when luscious fruits such as apricots, cherries, and strawberries are at their peak.

farmers' market apricots and cherries

A trip to the local farmers' market inspired my recipe for Cherry and Blackberry Clafoutis (as did my friends and co-bloggers Nicole Weston of the always freshly baked Baking Bites and Garrett McCord of the engagingly written Vanilla Garlic.)

Rather than vy for attention, the sweet cherries and tart blackberries complement each other, while the almond extract infuses the custard with a rich, smooth flavor. You could top the clafoutis with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of creme fraiche, but I wouldn't. Its most comfortable with a simple snowy white cap of confectioners' sugar.

fresh cherries

A note about using cherries in clafoutis: Purists claim that cherry clafoutis should be made with whole cherries, pits included, which impart a nutty almond flavor. I'm assuming those purists have not spent the fortune on Invisalgn that I have spent to get their perfectly straight smile. So I removed the pits (along with the risk of a chipped tooth) and added almond extract instead.

To pit a cherry, you can use a cherry pitter. Or you can do it the old-fashioned way, like I do: Place the cherry on a cutting board. Place the flat side of a wide knife on the cherry and press gently until it splits. Open the cherry and remove the pit.

Cherry and Blackberry Clafoutis
Makes 6 servings
Print recipe only here.

This recipe is adapted from two originals: Blackberry Clafoutis by Nicole Weston of Baking Bites AND Cherry Calfoutis by Garrett McCord of Vanilla Garlic (Posted on Simply Recipes).

1 cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted
2/3-3/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
3 eggs
2/3 cup of sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons Amaretto OR 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch or 10-inch round baking dish with butter, or coat well with cooking spray. Toss in the cherries, blackberries, and slivered almonds.

2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth.

3. Add milk, Amaretto (or almond extract, if using), and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the baking dish.

4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When you pull it put of the oven it will wiggle a bit which is normal. Place on a wire rack to cool. The clafoutis will have puffed up quite a bit and will deflate while cooling. When cool, dust the clafoutis with confectioners' sugar. Serve.

You might also like these springtime fruit desserts from Food Blogga:
Strawberry Cardamom Cake
Strawberry-Rhubarb Sponge Pudding
Almond Panna Cotta with Glazed Cherries
Fresh Apricot and Cherry Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Here are more delicious clafoutis recipes you might enjoy:
Strawberry Clafoutis recipe from Seriously Good
Plum Clafoutis recipe from Taste Buddies
Apricot Clafoutis recipe from La Recette du Jour
Raspberry Clafoutis recipe from Feeding Maybelle's Mom
Red Grape and Fennel Seed Clafoutis recipe from Make Life Sweeter