Okay here it is….spring roadside fruit stand menu part deux…..
I pretty much could live off of fresh berries and fruit this time of year. I am a sucker for every sign on the side of the road whether it is fresh cherries, blueberries, strawberries…the taste is just so much better than what you can buy in the store. My favorite dessert to make with fresh black cherries is also one of the easiest to make…the simple but elegant clafouti.
Clafoutis (pronounced “kla-foo-TEE”) is a rustic French dessert originally from Limousin, in southern France. This region is best known for its sweet black cherries which are traditionally baked in a sweet custard filling. This dessert is super easy to make – the filling is similar to a crepe, but is more thick and pudding like texture – actually it is more like a cross between a cake and a pudding. As it bakes, the batter forms a golden crust and the cherries burst, forming puddles of thick syrup… it should look something like this. The bonus – it is really easy to make but looks like something you spent hours creating..
If it is long past cherry season, plums or even peaches will work just as well with this amazing batter…
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 large pints fresh black cherries, stemmed and pitted (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup kirsh or brandy (optional)
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cherries in a medium bowl stir in liqueur and macerate for 30 minutes. Place sliced almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.
Use butter to grease bottom and sides of 9 X 9 by 2 inch pan. Place flour, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and almonds in a food processor, and pulse until mixture is finely ground. In a seperate medium bowl, add eggs, egg yolks, 3/4 cup of the cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Blend with a wire whisk until blended, then add flour mixture. Whisk thoroughly to combine and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to rest.
Pour cherries into bottom of pan and spread evenly over bottom. Pour batter over cherries and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining sugar over top of dish and bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbling. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Sprinkle sifted confectioners sugar over top of each serving. Whip remaning 1/2 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Serve clafouti warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream.
Try this with plums too and let me know which one you like better…