Festive season is about to begin and very soon the blogging world is going to be flooded with all sorts of festive / party food recipes. Most of them are labour intensive but some are a breeze to whip up. The other day the Indian store where I purchase my groceries had a big basket of ripe cherries.
The red ripe colour of the cherries was actually calling out to everyone "Somebody make a yummy dessert out of me".Even though I bought the cherries I had no idea as to what to do with literally a kilo of cherries. Google guru showed the way ..
Clafouti is one of the great classics french cuisine. This classic dessert has ripe cherries baked in luxuriously smooth custard sauce. Ingredients are few and the recipe sounded simple. Traditionally it was made with the first sweet cherries of the season. The cherries are cooked unpitted, so their kernels release their delicate almond flavour as they bake. Present day preparations go for pitted cherries which makes it easier to eat.
One of the Clafouti recipe [Joy of Baking] listed some tips for selecting the cherries for this classic dessert. The cherries have to bright shiny red, plump, firm with their stems still attached. There are also suggestions of using other fruits like apples, pears, peaches, blackberries etc.
Unsalted butter :2 tbsp
Ripe cherries: 300 gms [washed and stoned]
Plain flour: 65 gms
Eggs [large]: 2
Milk: 180 mls
Granulated sugar: 70 gms
Baking powder: 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract : 1/2 tsp
Icing sugar [for dusting] : 1-2 tbsp
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. Reserve 1 tbsp of the granulated sugar. Mix the rest of the sugar, flour, milk, eggs, vanilla extract and baking powder to a smooth batter. Grease a 25 cms round baking dish with some butter [reserve some]. Sprinkle the baking dish with the reserved granulated sugar.
Arrange the cherries [which have been cut in half and stoned] in the baking dish with the cut surface resting in the buttered baking dish. Place the dish in the heated oven for 5-6 minutes until the cherries have softened. Remove the dish from the oven. Pour the batter slowly into the dish over the cherries until they are covered. Dot the surface with the remaining butter. Bake for around 30 to 35 mins until golden and puffy.
Let the clafouti cool to lukewarm. Cut into wedges, dust with icing sugar and serve.