Red Cherry Clafoutis with a hint of spice to lift it to new heights and let’s not forget the old secret tradition; using cherries with pits
The cherries roll on my finger,
U loose urself, let it be, let it be
Inside my mind now u just linger.
Well that’s a new start for my blog post, with a tiny poem! A month ago when I had a box of cherries in my hand, I rubbed my chin for what all I’ll be making with them, as it turned out I made only clafoutis, the rest I ate simply. Now I always tend to believe that fruits are always best eaten alone not just for their nutritional values also because I feel their flavor is reduced at the end of it. So before making the clafoutis I had my doubts which got cleared away to some extent after I made it. You can guess why? Because the clafoutis was delicious.
Clafoutis come from France, the region of Limousin, almost the central region of the country. Traditionally clafoutis is always made with black cherries, but other seasonal fruits are often used in making clafoutis such as pears, prunes, apples, cranberries, blackberries. In fact there is another name often used when any fruit other than cherries are used, known as ‘Flaugnarde’. The French pronunciation of clafoutis is ‘Klafuti’ or ‘Cla-foo-tee’. Now when we do say it like that note how it makes us smile at the end of it.
It is a baked desert of fruit, traditionally of cherries, arranged in a buttered n sugared dish and a batter is poured over the cherries without completely drowning them and then baked in the oven until it is set and starts to brown on the surface. The batter is made with eggs, milk, cream, sugar, flour, butter n basically that’s it. Now the alternations happen on this basic recipe as everyone alters it with their own taste.
In my version most importantly I've kept the whole cherries with their pits as it was done traditionally unlike the versions we most see on internet where the pits have been removed for the ease of eating! But then you remove one thing and you have to deal with the loss of flavor. And talking about the ease on eating! Come on, once you know you have made a clafoutis with whole cherries your brain automatically knows not to bite into that like a blind brain!
I have made two versions of clafoutis-one with the pitted cherries one without. And the result is the one made with cherries with pits, was much more flavorful n more delicious. So pits make a difference. In fact reading about it in Wikipedia taught me that the pits contain an active chemical called ‘Amygdalin’, during baking some amount of this chemical is released into the clafoutis, thus creating a delicious difference. Think about saving time also, you don’t have to pit the cherries, now isn't that nice? Now if you are serving it for your guests and if you don’t want them spitting cherry pits, then you remove it before baking knowing that it will be less delicious automatically.
I have used black pepper and cloves in my versions, and guess what! Cloves go so well with the cherries, esp. the one I had, it is indeed a good combination, clove is a strong spice and we have to be careful because a little goes a long way. I used red rum to macerate the cherries along with the sugar n powdered clove n black pepper. I did not have ‘kirsch’ with me which is a cherry brandy which would've been nice but I love the flavor of red rum and so does cherries.
While making the batter which gets poured over the cherries instead of plain butter I used ‘Beurre Noisette’ which is butter that is browned in a pan until the milk solids get separated and browned and it attains a nutty flavor. I love the flavor of that in many recipes.
So now I will take you to the recipe of clafoutis right away
Texture of the batter has to be a pouring liquid consistency, preferably thin n not very thick; keeping the texture in mind we can adjust the amount of milk and cream n flour or eggs.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 Celsius.
Cherry Clafoutis is ready for you now. Dig in with a spoon when it is warm or I like it more when cold. Bon appétit.