Cherry season is nearly over, but until the last fruit drops from the tree, I will be reveling in the summer sweetness only cherries can offer.
Of course, there are so many incredible ways to enjoy cherries — eaten fresh, dehydrated, in cookies, homemade Larabars, sourdough cakes, cheesecake, jams, syrups, and scrumptious dessert sauces. That’s just to name a few.
If you need inspiration, check out the GNOWFGLINS’ Pinterest board or this one celebrating delectable summer fruits — just for those of us who find a special joy in fruits that taste like sunshine and drip down our chins unwittingly.
However, while all these ways of enjoying cherries are lovely, there is one way I particularly love. I’m a sucker for creamy, silky-smooth custards in all their glorious forms and cherries are a perfect vehicle for this foil. I’ve been pairing our favorite summer fruits with both panna cotta (the super simple Italian custard) and clafoutis (classic French flan that is a sultry ménage à trois of pancake, custard, and cake).
To be honest, you can use any summer fruit in this dish, but berries and stonefruit work best and if you want to be really authentic, it’s a clafouti only when cherries are used. Otherwise it’s known as a flaugnarde. (Thank you, Julia Child, once again for schooling me properly.)
Happy cooking and happy eating!
Classic Cherry Clafoutis
- enough fresh or frozen cherries to cover the bottom of a pie dish, approximately 3/4 pound
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup whole milk or homemade almond milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup flour of choice (i.e. freshly milled wheat flour, sprouted flour, spelt flour, almond flour, rice flour, etc.)*
- pinch of salt
- powdered sugar for dusting (optional; see how to make homemade powdered sugar)
Serves 4 to 6.
*Flour gives this custard a slightly cakey texture. An all-purpose-like flour such as freshly milled and sifted flour will give the smoothest texture, but sprouted flour, spelt flour, or whole wheat will certainly work as well (and using sprouted is the most traditional method). You may even use gluten-free flours, such as almond flour or brown rice flour, or even sprouted brown rice flour, but since there is no gluten to bind it together, the mixture will separate slightly. Still delicious, just not as smooth.
Butter a pie dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Either place the cherries whole, pit and all, into the pan (evidently this helps heighten the almond flavor) or halve and pit them. You may also use previously frozen cherries directly from the freezer. Scatter them over the bottom of the pie dish, covering it entirely in a single layer. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and honey until smooth, then add all remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. (Alternatively, you can place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.) Pour the batter slowly over the cherries to disturb them as little as possible. (They’ll likely rise to the surface, which is fine.) Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or when the clafoutis is nicely golden and well set. Set aside to cool in the pan.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. My favorite is eating it cold for breakfast. 🙂
How do you best like to enjoy cherries? Any particular way that knocks your socks off?
By the way, as I mentioned above, you certainly can use any summer fruit you love. I’ve been using apricots regularly!
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