Clafoutis comes from the Limousin, a flat agricultural area in the center of France, but versions of this simple pudding can be found all over—in the Auvergne for example it is known as millard, or flognarde when made with pears. Clafoutis is suited to tart fruits such as apples, plums, and most famously cherries. If you follow tradition like me and leave the pits in to add a hint of bitterness, be sure to warn guests before they crack a tooth!
Serves 6 to 8
- 1 pound/450 grams tart cherries, rinsed and dried
- Butter and sugar for the dish
- 3 tablespoons/45 milliliters/1 1/2 fluid ounces kirsch or Cognac, for sprinkling
- Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup/60 grams/2 ounces sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup/30 grams/1 ounce flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups/500 milliliters/16 fluid ounces milk
- 1 1/2-quart/1.5-liter/1 1/4-quart baking dish
Butter the baking dish, and sprinkle it with sugar, turning and tilting until the dish is evenly coated. Spread the cherries in the dish. For the batter, put the sugar in a medium bowl, add the eggs, and whisk until light and frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour and salt and stir just until smooth. Do not overbeat or the pudding will be tough. Stir in the milk. The cherries and batter can be prepared an hour or two before baking and kept covered at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 375˚F/190˚C/Gas 5. The batter may have separated slightly, so stir to mix it, and strain it over the cherries. Bake the pudding until browned and just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Let it cool 5 to 10 minutes, then sprinkle it with the kirsch (the aroma from the alcohol is a treat in itself.) Dust it generously with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.
photo by France Ruffenach
Excerpted from THE COUNTRY COOKING OF FRANCE
by Anne Willan, Chronicle Books, 2007.