A monument in the French culinary tradition: Le clafoutis aux cerises!
by My French Heaven
There are two types of pastries. The kind that only proper pastry chefs and pastry nuts should attempt like a Baba or a proper Paris Brest and the kind that I or indeed most people can easily make like apple pie, chocolate charlotte or in this case clafoutis.
People make clafoutis with all sorts of fruits these days. The original is made with cherries! Clafoutis (also called millard) is a specialty of the Auvergne and Limousin regions of France. The name comes from an old Occitan word meaning “filling”.
The recipe is quite simple and is basically the “flan” recipe with cherries added. You are going to think I am obsessed with my grandmothers after so many posts that include their recipes, but this on comes from my great grandmother Manée (in the picture) who was even more of a foodie than me. She is quite a legend in our family. If someone says “this was as good as Manée’s” or “Manée couldn’t have made it better”, you just received the greatest compliment there is for any wannabe cook in our clan. “Almost as good as Manée’s” is already a sign of great respect towards one’s cooking abilities :0) I will make her legendary crêpes for you guys someday…
These directions are for an 11 inch pie plate as pictured here. Ideal for 5 or 6 people:
- Clean about 2 pounds of cherries. Take the stems off, but keep the seeds in! Dispose the cherries in the pan as shown in the pictures here. They should touch each other.
- Put two egg yolks in a bowl with 100g of sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon for about two minutes.
- Add one whole egg and stir vigorously with a whisk.
- Add 100g of softened butter (unsalted), 100g of flour and stir hard with the wooden spoon.
- Add 25cl of whole milk, two tablespoons of dark rhum or kirsch, a small teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoon of vanilla extract and 2 of orange blossom extract. Whisk really well. It is OK if it looks a little lumpy as if the eggs or the milk had turned!
- Pour the mix over the cherries and insert in the oven – 35 minutes at 360°F
Note: the traditional recipe requires that the seeds are left in the fruit. A French cook would never dare take them out by fear of loosing any kind of credibility :0)