It’s still cherry season and I can’t, in good conscience, let you go through the whole season without making my Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis. It’s a French egg based dessert (I may have even, ahem, made it for breakfast) and it’s SO EASY to prepare. Seriously, the hardest part of this recipe is pitting the cherries. (Mainly hard to pit cherries without eating them all). But, if you can get through that – you’re home free and you have something delicious to feast on. This one is straight from my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, in the Spring season/chapter. Now, go forth and Clafoutis!
Vanilla Cherry Clafoutis
Yield: 8 servings
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon), grated on a Microplane
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pint fresh sweet cherries, halved and pits removed (2 cups)
Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Combine the eggs with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar on low speed in a blender for 10 seconds.
Gradually add the flour, lemon zest, salt, vanilla, and milk until well blended, 30 seconds.
Let rest undisturbed for at least 5 minutes. This time allows the flour to absorb the liquid resulting in a better finished texture.
Combine the butter, cherries and the remaining granulated sugar in a medium, oven-safe, non-stick sauté pan, over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes until the cherries are soft and a syrup has formed.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sweet, hot cherries (sounds sexy, right?). Transfer the sauté pan into the oven and bake, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes, or until the crispy brown edges have puffed up and the middle of the clafoutis is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, slide the clafoutis out onto a cutting board.
Slice and serve on dessert plates dusted with confectioners’ sugar.
Note: If you happen to be a bigger fan of orange than lemon, feel free to substitute the zest of 1 large orange (1 tablespoon) for the lemon zest, and substitute 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier for the vanilla extract.