I have loved this dessert since the summer of my childhood when I spent mornings picking sour cherries off my aunt Rosa's trees. After lunch I would read Three Musketeers, then my aunt would serve tea and clafoutis in the garden.
Clafoutis is the quintessential French summer dessert, a great way to use an excess of tree-ripe fruit, from cherries to plums, peaches, and juicy pears.
There are many versions of this recipe. The technique is basic, a great beginner’s dish. The secret is to get the correct ratio of flour to liquid: Too little, and the clafoutis will be watery. Too much, and creaminess gives way to a thicker, more plodding texture.
Ingredients for eight 4 ounce ramekins or one family style clafoutis
1 ½ cups sour cherries, pitted, or toss sweet cherries with a bit of lemon juice
½ cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
½ cup cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Scant ¼ tsp. almond extract
Pinch of salt
Unsalted butter to smear the ramekins or oven-proof dish if you are making one large clafoutis
¼ cup granulated sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Butter the ramekins
Line the bottom of ramekins or dish with cherries
Beat the eggs with sugar and flour. Stir in the milk, cream, vanilla and almond extract, pinch of salt.
Pour the custard mixture over the cherries.
Place in a 325 degrees oven.
After 15 minutes, sprinkle tops with sugar
Bake for 30 minutes total, until tops are blond and custard is set. If making a single large clafoutis, bake a little longer, about 40 minutes total.