August is the month of cherries, and especially cherries from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. So therefore, it's also the month of Clafoutis.
Clafoutis (or Clafouti in English) is a dessert traditionally made with fresh cherries cooked in a thick flan-like batter. The classic recipe (originally from the region of Limousin, France) calls for cooking whole cherries with their pits to preserve the benzaldehyde, which is responsible for the aromas and taste of almond. The recipe I propose today is 1/3 of cherries cut without the pits, to produce more juice and 2/3 with the pits. You will also see that I burn the top slightly to produce more aromas of bitterness and thus to balance the acidity, sweetness, and saltiness already present in the clafoutis.
For a 10' round Clafoutis:
Preparation time: 20 Minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Degree of difficulty: Easy
- 1 lb (500 g) organic black cherries (preferably local)
- 4 fresh organic farm eggs
- Scant ¾ c (75 g) organic cake flour
- ½ c (100 g) fine sugar (+20 g for the pie mold)
- 2 cups (50 cl) whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon pure liquid vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons (20 g or 1 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon Triple Sec liqueur or Kirsch (i.e. cherry brandy liqueur)
- Trim and rinse the cherries. Remove the pit of 1/3 of the cherries.*
- Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 F.
- Break the whole eggs into a large bowl, then add the fine sugar. By hand or with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is uniform and slightly white and foamy.
- While continuing to whisk, add the flour little by little, then the milk, vanilla, and finally the liquor.
- Generously butter the entire inside of your baking dish and evenly sprinkle the inside with sugar. Sprinkle all the cherries on the bottom of the dish, and then gently pour in the batter.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the clafoutis is lightly browned.
- Leave the clafoutis in the oven and transfer from Cooking to Broil and cook for two to three minutes until the top of the clafoutis is slightly burned. Remove and let cool completely.
*If you do not have a cherry pitter at home. Use the tip of a small funnel, gently push the cherry over it. The tip will push the pit outwards. Or make a cross with the tip of a knife on top of the cherry, then penetrate a bamboo scur at the other end, and push the core outwards.
Wine Pairing for Cherry Clafoutis
It’s surprising, but true, that several dry wines can harmonize very well with this dessert, such as Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir or Gewurztraminer. Here is the official Bonde recommendation:
Gilbert Cellars, Pinot Noir Nouveau 2022, Horse Heaven Hills - Columbia Gorge, WA $27
Byron Kosuge, Gamay Noir 2020, The Shop Vineyard, Carneros - Sonoma County, CA $36
Dowsett Familly Winery, Gewürztraminer 2018, Celilo Vineyard - Columbia Gorge, WA $38