Cherry. Pretty self-explanatory. But clafoutis? Cla-foo-tee I think. Right? Honestly, I don’t know. Every which way I try to pronounce it sounds a bit ridiculous.
Anywhooo it’s a dessert that’s kind of like a cross between a custard and a fluffy pancake. It’s similar to a quiche. Remember when we chatted about combining cream and eggs and how that keeps cooked eggs soft? The cream fills in the harder protein networks and prevents rubbery texture. Well, this is kind of like that. We’ve got a dairy ingredient, an egg, and sugar.
The egg does its basic job during baking and cooking. The heat causes the proteins in the egg to denature which creates a network as protein chains interact with other protein chains. The sugar cuts through the egg and aerates it just a bit preventing tight junctions from forming. It’s also really hygroscopic, so it grabs onto water molecules and holds on for dear life. That keeps the clafoutis really moist. As for the dairy component, the fat and massive amount of water in whole milk make this batter extra liquidy (kind of like a crepe batter) and prevent the cooked egg from becoming rubbery. Actually, there’s so much milk that the egg can be thought of as providing the structure to the milk in the final product.
The flour is meant to thicken the mixture and create a nice cake-like texture once the starch gelatinizes in the oven.
I know that we’ve reached the tail-end of the cherry season. Which means that a lot of cherries you can find now aren’t super prime. What a better way to enjoy them than in a baked clafoutis?! So mis-pronounce all you want as you dig into this baby. I made it more of a personal size so that you can enjoy it with your significant other or with a few others at the end of a dinner party or afternoon in the yard. Either way, get ready for some deliciousness. And juicy cherries delivered on a cloud of cake-y custard. Yummy yum yum!
Cherry Clafoutis (for two or a small crowd)
20-23 ripe cherries, pitted
4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Scant ½ teaspoon baking powder
⅓ cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Prep a 6 inch cake pan, 6 inch mini casserole dish (what I used), or a 6 inch pie dish with butter/flour. Scatter the cherries on the bottom of the dish you have chosen and prepped.
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and a splash of vanilla. Whisk to combine. Pour in the milk and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the cherries and bake until set and lightly browned. About 25 minutes.
- Let cool to room temperature and dust with powdered sugar. Serve!