Cherries arrived in Rome in May, piles of them at the greengrocers and markets, and they are still gorgeous. Red, shiny and fragrant; it was time to pull out cherry-related recipes and enjoy them. Soon the cherries will be gone for the year, they are being eclipsed by watermelons and elbowed out by the apricots and sweet-smelling peaches. I bought cherries on the way home, and thought it was time to make a clafoutis. Homely but tasty. This is what Nigel Slater says about clafoutis:
“Batter puddings, where fruit is suspended in a
flour and egg batter, are one of the few acceptable hot puddings in
summer. Some recipes are soft, like a deflated soufflé, others
firmer and puddingy. Most, however, land somewhere between a
Yorkshire pud and a custard tart. A clafoutis of cherries is
probably the best known, though apricots and pears are used
For the detailed recipe, see The Observer, Sunday 26 June 2011: Nigel Slater’s classic cherry clafoutis: 350-400g of stoned cherries. 80g of sugar with 2 beaten eggs, then 90g of flour, 150ml of milk and a drop of vanilla extract. Finally, 30g of melted butter. Bake 35min at 180C.
My notes: Wash and dry the cherries, and stone them. It’s a methodical and rather therapeutic process, when it’s just a basket’s worth and there’s a nice evening breeze wafting in cooking smells and you are listening to children playing below before their dinner. Our kitchen overlooks the condominio garden next door, where kids practice bicycling and kick balls which occasionally go over the hedge to our side.
Anyway, you might want to wear an apron while stoning cherries or you might get stubborn cherry stains on your clothes, if they are very juicy. (I was making dinner at the same time and forgot…… Worth it though.) Preheat the oven to 180C and butter your dish. Layer the stoned cherries in. Whisk together other ingredients to a smooth batter, and pour it over the cherries. Bake until the clafoutis is golden and puffed up.
Sprinkle with icing sugar. Eat clafoutis warm or cold. It was not as pretty as I had hoped, but it was so easy and delicious as was, we thought there was no need for custard. It was light when baked, and the cherries were lovely and juicy. The cherries were so sweet that the icing sugar was not really needed, but I would not quibble with Nigel’s recommendations. Nice cold the next day in my packed lunch as well. I love dessert (who does not?), though there is often not time for anything fancy, and this one I’ll make again. Next time I might make this with apricots and some flaked almonds, and maybe a splash of Amaretto. The cherry clafoutis recipe also appears in “Tender, Volume II” from Nigel Slater, page 810.