This old-style French cherry clafouti dessert, given to us by Auvergnat grandmother Jean Barbet, calls for unpitted cherries. This is the tradition in the region, not as a labor-saving shortcut, but because the pits are believed to add flavor to the cake. If the idea unsettles you, don’t hesitate to use pitted cherries.–Editors of Saveur
LC $*@2!!! Cherry Pits! Note
Yes, you could leave those pesky little pits in the cherries in keeping with the romanticized notion of imparting an almondy nuance to the cake. Or you could easily pit them. When facing a mountain of cherries whose pits you want to wrest from their place, you’ve got all manner of options, including pricey cherry pitting gadgets, the tip of a sharp paring knife, a bobby pin, a paper clip that’s partly unbended, even a cleverly Macgyvered fork. But you tell us. How do you fish out the pit? Tell us in a comment. And no matter what you do, wear an apron and be ready to wipe purple splatters from the counter.
Cherry Clafouti Recipe
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes, 55 minutes if pitting the cherries) | Serves 8
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups milk, preferably whole milk
- 2 tablespoons kirsch (optional)
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups sweet cherries, stems removed, pitted if desired
- Confectioners’ sugar, if desired
- 1. To make the cherry clafouti, preheat the oven to 400° F (204°C). Generously butter a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch baking dish.
- 2. Add the vanilla, eggs, sugar, milk, kirsch if using, and salt to a blender and blend just a few seconds until combined. Then add the flour and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
- 3. Pour the batter into the buttered skillet. Scatter the cherries over the batter. Bake until a golden brown crust forms on top and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if you like.
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Cherry Clafouti Recipe © 1999 Editors of Saveur. Photo © 1999 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.