It’s odd, really that the Yorkshire pudding principle of a baked batter so rarely extends to dessert in England. The French sweet batter pudding, called clafoutis, originated in the Limousin in central France but now it is found everywhere, adapted to local fruits and alcohols. Traditional for tart cherries in spring, when the season is over the cherries are switched to plums or dried prunes, with apricots further alternative. When serving the hot pudding, vanilla ice cream is a favorite topping, or perhaps a bowl of plain yoghurt or the French choice of crème fraîche. Before serving this dish make all aware of the whole cherry including the pip is in the dish, although you can make this dish with pitted cherries.

Serves 6-8
3 cups/675 g tart cherries
Butter for the dish
1/3 cup/75 g sugar, more for the dish
1¼ cups/300 ml milk
3 eggs
½ cup/60 g flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar for serving
7-8 cup/1.75-2 liter ovenproof baking dish or quiche pan

1. Heat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C and set a shelf in the middle. Butter the dish and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons sugar. Pick over the cherries, discarding stems but leaving the pits.

2. For the batter: whisk the milk, eggs, flour, vanilla and salt with the remaining sugar in a mixer or blender. Pour a ¼-inch/5-mm layer of batter in the baking dish and bake in the oven just until set, 10-12 minutes. Take from the oven, spread the cherries over the layer of batter and sprinkle them with another 3-4 tablespoons of sugar. Pour over the remaining batter and sprinkle with more sugar to your taste, the amount depends on the sweetness of the cherries.

3. Bake the pudding in the heated oven for 50-60 minutes until the batter is puffed and brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the pudding cool 10-15 minutes before serving — it will sink slightly as it cools but is best when still warm.