Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cherry Clafouti

Clafouti is just plain fun to say (it's one of those strange French words that is actually pronounced like it is spelled). I had never heard of it before I found it in my new Julia Child cookbook--Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon thanks to the hype of the new movie coming out. I decided it was time to try Julia Child--I've done other recipes, now I wanted to try the master's.

I found cherries on sale for 88¢ a pound this week and looked for a recipe that used cherries. Cherry clafouti looked simple enough (Julia Child translated clafouti to be flan---it reminded me a lot of a flan or simple baked custard). I cooked it in my black skillet because it was the only pan I knew I could use on both the stove and the oven.

The recipe was great! Everyone loved it and it was simple--the most time consuming part was pitting the cherries. I love pitting cherries. There is just something about seeing streaks of bright red cherry juice spreading across the counter that makes me happy. Next year, when there are cheap cherries again (meaning somewhere they are in peak season), I will definitely make this again.

from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

3 c pitted black cherries (about 2 lbs)
1 1/4 c milk
2/3 c sugar
3 eggs
1 T vanilla
1/8 t salt
1/2 c flour

powdered sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)

Place the milk, 1/3 c sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour in the order listed into a food processor or blender. Cover and process for 1 minute (at top speed). Pour 1/4" layer of batter in 7- 8 c lightly buttered baking dish (I used my cast iron skillet). Set on stove on moderate heat for a minute or two until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from heat. Spread the cherries over the batter and sprinkle remaining 1/3 c sugar over top. Pour the rest of the batter and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Place in the middle of a preheated oven and bake for about an hour (mine took closer to 45 minutes). The clafouti is done when it has puffed and browned and a knife plunged into the center comes out clean. Sprinkle top of clafouti with powdered sugar just before bringing to the table. Serve hot or warm (but not cool).

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