Look at all the delicious cherries popping out everywhere in shops and markets, so beautiful!
And when I see cherries, I inevitably think of my favourite cherry dessert: le clafoutis aux cerises. My grandmother used to make the best cherry clafoutis I have ever eaten (I have mentioned before what a great cook she was). It was funny how every time she would be baking it during the Summer, you could see my cousins suddenly arriving for a visit, like if they could smell it from the other side of town. It was definitely a favourite thing for all of us!
This delicious dessert originates from the Limousin region in France. It is traditionally made with dark cherries but you can use other fruits too (apples, plums, peaches, blackberries, etc.). If you are a cherry clafoutis purist, you will cook the cherries with their pits in. It releases a wonderful flavour, and for me it makes this dessert incredible.
I find this dessert just perfect on a Summer day served chilled after a lovely meal of barbecued meats and grilled vegetables. You just want to sit in a garden with a good book and a plate of little squares of cherry and dark chocolate clafoutis (and probably a cheeky glass of refreshing dessert wine). And this is just a great Summer feeling!
3 free range eggs
80g caster sugar
80g buckwheat flour**
20g melted unsalted butter
50g chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa minimum)
For greasing and dusting: 5g unsalted butter, 2 tbsp caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Grease a baking dish (about 20x25cm) with the 5g of butter, dust with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Tap the excess out and put the dish in the fridge while you make the cake batter.
2. Pour the milk in a small saucepan and put over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and set aside.
Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl. Pour the flours and whisk them in delicately.
Add the hot milk while whisking constantly.
Mix in the cream and melted butter until you get a smooth batter.
3. Spread the cherries in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the fruits. Sprinkle in the chopped dark chocolate.
Put the dish on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 30 minutes (check with a skewer or a sharp knife blade that it is cooked through, it should come out clean).
I like to sprinkle some fine caster sugar over the cake when it is just out of the oven for a light crusty top feel. I let the clafoutis cool down in the dish and then cut out small square pieces to serve. It can be served lukewarm but I personally prefer it completely cooled down and eaten on its own (I am not fond of cream or ice cream with it).
* Please note I used full cherries here as the flavour released by the pits make this dessert even better. If you are not comfortable with this idea, please use pitted cherries. And when I feel like a cherry clafoutis in the middle of Winter, I also use a can of pitted dark cherries (drain the juice and use it for a hot drink or cocktail).
** The buckwheat flour and cornflour can obviously be replaced by plain flour (use 120g).