- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter (at room temperature) , for greasing
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 300 g cherries
- icing sugar , for dusting
- 60 g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 60 g sugar
- 300 ml milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4.
- Mix all the batter ingredients with a pinch of sea salt in a blender or food processor until totally smooth, then set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease a 25cm round baking dish with the softened butter, then sprinkle over the sugar.
- Dot the cherries (stoned, if you prefer) around the base of the dish, then place in the oven for 5 minutes so the fruit can begin to soften.
- Remove the dish from the oven and pour over the batter until the cherries are just covered. Return to the oven to bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until puffy and golden.
- Dust the clafoutis with icing sugar and serve lukewarm.
As the eagle eyed may have noticed, I don't often do puddings. Don't misunderstand, I love pudding as much as the next sweet-toothed person but, with one thing and another i just dont get round to cooking them that often. Partly it is a form of self-control - if they are not their I can't eat them! And this works....
This particular weekend though we had a friend of the in-laws coming to supper, and being August it is the height of the soft fruit season. Normally that would be a cue for me to do a summer pudding, which is in my opinion, the greatest pudding of all time (well, maybe apart from this). I haven't made one yet this summer though - Offspring scattered and, frankly an appalling summer of cloud and rain which doesn't feel, well, Summery.
So a hot pud was the order of the day (although of course the day turned out to be one of the nicest for a while...) based on summer fruit. And the image of a Clafoutis came into my head. I have no clue why. I think I have only eaten this French version of sweet Yorkshire Pudding laden with fruit once in my life. But in the idea popped, and I could not shake it. So Clafoutis it was. I bought some limb-wrenchingly expensive English Cherries and we were set.
If I am honest although this was a good Clafoutis, I am not convinced that a Clafoutis is a good pudding. I served it with good rich Jersey double cream and it hits all the right sweet notes (the dusting of icing sugar is not optional but essential) and that was all fine - but in terms of texture and mouth feel it is all a bit soft. No bite or contrast to provide a satisfying chewing experience. That is not the recipes fault, but in-built to the pud. Perhaps it also serves as a reminder of why I have only eaten it once before in my life, and never ordered it in a restaurant. The mouth has a better memory than the mind.