I was watching something on TV a few days ago, and whoever it was made a "clafoutis" (we'll get into the pronunciation in the video, below). It seemed really easy - and really good. And very summery - both fast and light, and also transportable for potluck kinds of things.
Cutting to the chase: mine came out looking like this:
So I did a quick search and found this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog from about 11 years ago. I'm actually not going to paste the recipe, here, since if you go to her site you'll also get to see how hers turned out - which will probably give you a better idea of what it should look like than mine does, really.
Oh. I should probably explain my reasoning behind going for cherries this week...
The ingredient list is pretty basic (note: there are enough cherries in this photo for one and a half recipes-worth of clafoutis):
|Yep. That's 7 ingredients. Total. (It would be 8 if you added the booze.)|
I'd love to say that my ingredients started out that way, but first I had to pit all of the cherries. So what you're seeing in the picture is a measuring cup filled with pre-pitted (or pre-stoned) cherries. For the sake of this post, we'll start with the excitement of melting butter:
|Please ignore the mess on the stovetop. I had some pasta water boil over earlier and didn't remember to clean it up before taking photos.|
While the butter was melting (because it needs to melt and then cool a bit), it was time to put together basically the rest of the batter ingredients.
We've got some eggs and sugar...
The recipe actually calls for beating this together until it lightens in color. So, for reference, here is the color when I started:
And here is the color when I finished:
|Single recipe = 3 normal eggs; 1.5 recipe = 3 jumbo eggs and one normal egg (at least for me)|
And here is the color when I finished:
They don't really grow much (not like when you're whipping egg whites), but they do get lighter - both in color and in density.
For whatever reason (possibly because I had crammed so much butter into such a small pan - and didn't want to crank the heat and have it sputter all over the stove), it took a while for the butter to melt. So I went ahead and prepared the pans.
I used real butter to coat the base and sides of the pans, then split the cherries between the two.
|They look a little odd that way.|
As a reminder (sorry, this may now be way too obvious), I used two pie pans, which are shallower than regular cake pans. Plus, the recipe is for a 9-inch pan, and the larger of these is probably about 8.5-inch (the smaller is probably 7.5-inch), so I figured the 1.5 recipe would work. As far as the amount of cherries goes, that seemed pretty good to me.
Luckily, before I started to obsess over cherry placement, my butter had cooled enough to add to the egg mix without giving me scrambled eggs.
So I did some left-handed pouring...
...and the batter looked like this:
I've mentioned that this is a pretty quick and easy recipe, right? The next step is to literally dump in all of the flour and the salt - all at once - and mix it in.
This gives you a kind of thick cake batter consistency. (Like you'd get for a pound cake, maybe.)
The addition of the milk was kind of strange. I mean... easy and all... but, well, let's see how well the photos show what happened.
At first, when I started adding in the milk, it just kind of sat on top.
When I mixed it, it had that weird look of pudding when you add milk to it. (Did anyone else do that as a kid?)
On the last pour, though, the milk went straight through the top and just... disappeared. I guess that, somewhere along the way, the mixture had lightened up enough that the milk actually seemed heavy? I don't really know if that's what it was, but it really kind of surprised me on the final addition.
The vanilla, on the other hand, just sat on top. (Did I mention that I opted for vanilla instead of almond extract because one of the clafoutis was going to someone with nut allergies and I didn't want to take any chances? Almond and cherry is a really classic flavor combo, but so is vanilla/cherry, so I figured I was in the clear.)
|This is when you'd add the almond extract and the booze if you were so inclined.|
I don't have photos of me pouring the mix over the cherries, because I don't have enough hands for that. But one of the interesting things that happened during the pouring is that... well... all of the cherries moved.
Yes, I know that, logically, this is what happens when you pour a liquid over something like this. But It just didn't click until I was doing it.
So, trying to keep things well-distributed, I tried moving them around.
It didn't make much difference - except for getting my fingers all covered in batter.
|It would be bad to lick your fingers at this point, due to raw flour and raw eggs. Don't do it. I'm sure I didn't - and it wasn't amazingly tasty. At all.|
In the oven, I decided to hedge my bets and placed a cookie sheet on the rack below them.
|If you hadn't noticed before - yes, they were full.|
|Not only did they pass the shake test - just look at the color on them!|
As I mentioned, the cherries had shifted when I poured the batter over them, but they still looked fairly well distributed in the end.
|I love how they're peeking through the top!|
|Yep. That'd be the edge that overflowed on the way into the oven.|
I had to wait a little while for them to cool before I could sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Even so, because of the moisture in them, the powdered sugar melted pretty fast.
|Believe it or not, this was taken almost immediately after the photo at the start of this post. The powdered sugar melted that quickly.|
The moment of truth came when I went to cut it. Along with wanting to make two slightly smaller versions, instead of one large one, I had also opted to go for the pie pans because I wanted to make sure I could get this out of the pan. But I truly had no problem.
|Yes, to make this camera ready, I had to re-sprinkle with powdered sugar.|
So, how did it taste?
And, now that the storms have paused (though I suspect they have not yet passed), I'm happy to say that I might substitute eating a Cherry Clafoutis instead of spitting cherry seeds in the summer. (Well... unless I find myself at home in South Dakota - it would be a shame to pass up that kind of opportunity.)
I realize that this is where I usually ask some question and look for suggestions for future posts, but this week - due to my pronunciation issues - I felt I had to share this video, instead. Enjoy!
(I apologize for the video quality - it was the only version I could find on YouTube that was from the movie.)