by Beth Somerford
I will whisk for my new love
a creamy batter, sweet and rich,
its almond tang an undertone
that catches in my throat.
Then I shall wait another night
to lay the foaming blanket
over reddish marbles rolling;
over dark unpitted fruits.
Once baked into a solid spume
we’ll break its golden crust
to divine the ruby jewels within;
suspended, as if nailed in place.
The cherry juice will red our tongues –
we’ll share the liquor when we kiss;
yet leave behind a nagging pile
of tiny wooden hearts.
Clafoutis sometimes in Anglophone countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.
A traditional Limousin clafoutis (It has been associated with a culture: that of the troubadours, chevaliers of refined love …. Limousin that is …) contains pits of the cherries. According to baking purists, the pits release a wonderful flavor when the dish is cooked. If the cherry pits are removed prior to baking, the clafoutis will be milder in flavor.
It was my first cookbook of Raymond Blanc, that started my relation ship with clafoutis. “Cooking for friends“, …. it must have been sometimes in the early 90s, when I stumbled across one of Raymond Blanc’s first cookbooks. Ever since I have been making clafoutis …. with cherries, plums, beach, …. even with raspberries …..
Here is what I’ve done a couple of days ago:
Ingredients20 g unsalted butter 3 pc whole eggs 1 pc egg yolk 90 g granulated sugar ½ tsp vanilla extract 100 g plain flour 160 g milk 160 g whipping cream pinch salt zest of 1 lemon 450 g fresh cherries .
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C
- Pitt the cherries
- Brush the inside of a round cast iron or china baking dish with melted butter. Add the granulated sugar and shake the dish so as to coat the inside of the dish.
- In a mixing bowl add the flour. Add the eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla essence and lemon zest to the well. With a whisk incorporate slowly the egg mixture into the flour until you have a smooth consistency.
- In a small saucepan heat the butter until it reaches a golden hazelnut color and leave to cool.
- Slowly whisk in the milk followed by the cream and finally the butter.
- Place the cherries into the buttered and sugared baking dish.
- Poor the batter onto the cherries.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes.
- The clafoutis is cooked when a toothpick inserted into the mixture comes out clean.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar.
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