My Citizens, the noble and exquisite palate of YOUR TFD is renowned for both its subtlety and an insistence on using only the finest ingredients. This classic French dessert satisfies me on every level and is not difficult to make at all! 🙂
Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of fruit, traditionally 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, sometimes with cream.
As noted on tasteoftheplace.com:
The dish originally comes from the Limousin region of Central France, a rural area of the country known for its exceptional cattle (appropriately called Limousin cattle), groves of French oak prized in wine making, and the famous Limoges porcelain.
Clafoutis is pronounced with a slight emphasis on the first syllable, and a stronger emphasis on last syllable (CLA-foo-TEA) – NOT the middle syllable (cla-FOO-tea).
A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains pits of the cherries. The pits contain amygdalin, the active chemical in almond extract, so during baking a small amount of amygdalin from the pits is released into the clafoutis, adding a complementary note to its flavor.
The clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France, and while black cherries are traditional, there are numerous variations using other fruits, including red cherries, plums, prunes, apples, pears, cranberries or blackberries. When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde.
The dish’s name derives from the ancient Occitan word clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning “to fill” (implied: “the batter with cherries”). Clafoutis apparently spread throughout France during the 19th century.
My version of this classic dish is very close to the one served at the legendary Guy Savoy restaurant in Paris and the recipe is in fact from the pastry chef there! My admittedly genius addition is to add in some ground Mahlab, the middle eastern spice made from – wait for it – ground cherry pits! This reinforces both the cherry AND the almond flavor to incredible heights! You can buy great-quality Mahlab here.
Be careful eating this, and be sure to warn your guests about the pits – and equally, enjoy the satisfaction of spitting the spits onto your plate, part of the unique charm of clafoutis! 🙂
Battle on – the GeneralissimoPrint
- 400g / 1 lb cherries
- 15 ml / 1 tbsp kirsch
- 15 ml / 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 45 g / 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 15 g / 1 ½ tbsp flour
- 15 g / 1 tbsp almond powder
- 7 ½ g / ½ tbsp ground Mahlab
- 170 ml / ¾ cup whole milk, preferably from a Jersey cow
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- microplaned lemon rind from ¼ lemon
- grated Nutmeg (optional but recommended)
- Mix cherries with kirsch and icing sugar and let sit for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 190 C/ 375 F. Butter an 11-12 inch oval dish or a shallow pan.
- Sift flour, powdered almond and mahlab and add sugar together. Whisk in milk until smooth. Whisk eggs, vanilla, lemon rind, and nutmeg.
- Pack cherries on bottom of oval dish and pour batter over. Bake for 45 min or until set. Insert knife into center, if it comes out clean it is done. Serve warm in dish and enjoy spitting out the cherry pits – it’s part of the charm of the dish!
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