You may be wondering what I did with the rest of the cherries after only using a quarter pound in last week’s stone fruit tart. Well, obviously some went to the noble cause of snacking (fruits are free snacks, as Nick is prone to saying). But when I noticed that they were starting to go South I decided to make a cherry clafoutis. This classic French dessert is often described as a thick, eggy pancake, but I’ve always considered it more of a custard. The beauty of it, though, is in the simplicity.
A batter of eggs, milk, sugar, flour, and almond meal is poured over fruit and baked. Traditionally, the cherries aren’t even pitted, but seeing as I don’t care to break my teeth on my dessert, I chose to pit the cherries for my clafoutis, despite the fact that I don’t own a cherry pitter. Let me tell you, halving and pitting 400 grams of cherries by hand is a messy undertaking.
But that was the hardest part.
The cherries went into a buttered baking dish, and I poured the batter on top. Into the oven with it, and 40 minutes later I have a beautiful seasonal dessert.
Of course, there is the requisite waiting for it to cool so it won’t melt the whipped cream right away. I know that clafoutis is usually garnished with powdered sugar as well, but it seems unnecessary, in my opinion. I prefer to let the mingling flavors of cherries and almonds do the seducing on their own. No extra sweetness required. Nick actually used the word “wonderful” upon finishing his portion, so I must be doing something right.
I served this one with another Belgian lambic, this time a Kriek, or (you guessed it) cherry beer.
It was good complement to the dessert, but on its own, this particular beer suffers from a bit of cough-syrupiness. I know there are better Krieks out there. Fortunately, the dessert upstaged even the gorgeous ruby red color of the lambic, and emerged as the undisputed star of the show.