Summer Sweets: Clafoutis!
I’ve never been a huge cherry fan, but after getting reacquainted with fresh Rainier cherries I thought maybe I’d give some other varieties another try. This past weekend at the market, I picked up a quart of yellow-tinged Queen Anne cherries, slightly tart like the Rainiers. Another stand had signs saying last week for gooseberries. I’d never had gooseberries, so I snatched them up. Fortunately I read a well-timed post from The District Domestic warning about the tartness of green gooseberries before biting into one too eagerly. I decided to combine them with the cherries for yet another new-to-me experience, a cherry clafoutis. This French baked custard recipe has numerous intrepretations to choose from. I decided to start with The Garden Apartment’s fusion of Julia Child‘s and Foodbeam‘s recipes… I used buttermilk and more eggs, so it turned out something like this:
Recipe: Cherry-Gooseberry Clafoutis
Adapted from The Garden Apartment and others.
- 2 T butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 t almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 cups berries (1/2 ea. gooseberries and Queen Anne cherries, halved and pitted)
- 1/4 and 1/3 cup sugar
- powdered sugar
Instructions: Toss berries with 1/4 sugar and let stand (adjust to taste; I’d use less with sweeter cherries). Preheat oven to 350*. In mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk butter, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, sugar, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter into buttered baking dish and bake 4 minutes or until batter begins to set. Remove from oven and spread berries over batter, then pour on rest of batter. Bake for another 50 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy! (Makes 6-8 servings.)
Notes: Next time I will probably use less or omit the butter, as it turned out a little oily. Also, I would use a tart pan next time as the pan I used was much too deep. (Didn’t affect taste, but not as photogenic as it could have been!) This not-too-sweet clafoutis would be a great base for other fruits or berries too – I might try it with blackberries later this summer.
Farms/Producers: Ingredients from Dupont Circle Farmers Market, including cherries from Toigo (PA) and eggs from Smith Meadow (VA).