We made a couple of cherry clafoutis this past weekend. That gave me the chance to try out the brandied cherries prep technique mentioned in the last post. Clafoutis are made from unpitted (traditionally) fresh cherries baked in an eggy crepe batter. The techniques for making brandied cherries I found (Imbibe magazine, The Art of the Bar book and various online sources) all call for simmering the cherries in sugar syrup and lemon juice for 4-5 minutes. The change was to prepare the cherries for the clafouti ahead, like you would in the brandied recipe.

Two day old stewed cherries, looking good

Simmering the cherries will double the volume of liquid you start with – in reality making a cherry syrup. I let the cherries soak in that liquid overnight. When it was time to make the clafouti, I strained off and reserved the syrup. I then used the cherries to make the desert and also filled an 8 oz Mason jar’s worth of good looking ones without the syrup. The jarred cherries were topped with 3 oz of Grand Marnier mixed with 2 tbsp of sugar and then sealed.  I thickened some of the reserved syrup with starch to make a sauce each time we served the clafouti. Both the unused cherries and the syrup have held up fine in the fridge over two days.

Here’s a tradition Clafouti recipe:

from Parisiane Home Cooking by Michael Roberts (William Morrow & Co., NY 1999)

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons kirsch
  • 3 cups cherries, stems removed
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • Crème fraîche or sour cream for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch flan ring or round baking dish and set aside on a baking sheet.

2. In a bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolk together, then beat in the sugar. Add the flour and mix until incorporated. Stir in the cream, kirsch, and melted butter. Pour the mixture into the flan ring and distribute the cherries evenly over it.

3. Place in the oven until puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool, then turn the clafoutis upside down onto a wire rack or plate. Turn right side up onto a serving plate, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and serve, accompanied by crème fraîche or sour cream (or better yet, skip the flipping over part and serve with  thickened cherry syrup)

You can use any fruit that has a similar consistency in this – berries, plumbs etc.

Good eatin'