life is just …
a c h a i r of b o w l i e s …
…but as always, that depends on your perspective.
I went out to collect the mail and – it must be my lucky day – I received my first (does one get a second?) Free Pre-Paid Cremation! notice (details inside.) Well, that’s going up in smoke!
And then, I was heading out to a great little farmers’ market when I learned I needed to be home in case either of two inspectors came by to look at our bathrooms.
So, with my market plan foiled, and suddenly feeling older than dirt, I played with what I had, and what I had were organic Rainier cherries picked from a nearby orchard.
I’d bought enough of them to do several things.
But cherries have this cuteness factor that I wanted to capitalize on, so… it’s to be
Clafoutis are definitely cute too.
And – proving this truly WAS my lucky day – I already had everything I needed to make them.
Clafoutis are French flans or custards, flavor-infused, with various fruits baked inside. There is some debate as to whether to remove the pits of the cherries or leave them in. Those in favor of leaving them in believe that the pits actually impart a subtle deliciousness of their own. The option is yours. But…For a child to lift a little red globe by its stem from a pillowy custard, pop it into her mouth – with the option of spitting the pit, if permitted – seems reason enough to leave them in. Don’t be fooled…adults love to spit them too. It is said.
These can be made in either one 12-inch mold or six 8-ounce ramekins and serve 6
- Unsalted butter, for the mold or ramekins
- ½ cup (100 g. or 3½ oz) blond cane sugar, plus more to sprinkle the mold(s)
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (200 ml) whole milk
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (200 ml) unsweetened coconut milk *
- 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (40 g or 1¾ oz) millet flour
- ¼ cup (30 g or 1 oz) almond meal
- ¼ cup (30 g or 1 oz) cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 pound 5¼ oz (600 g) ripe sweet or sour cherries (such as Rainier or Bing)
- Confectioners’ sugar to dust
* You could substitute heavy cream for the coconut milk if you prefer
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter either a 12-inch mold or six 8-oz cup ramekins, and sprinkle with sugar. Tap out the excess.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk and coconut milk (or cream) with the vanilla seeds and bean. Heat to just under a boil, then turn the heat off. Add almond extract and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the milk to infuse with flavor for 15 minutes. Then strain and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, millet flour, almond meal and cornstarch. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Then stir in the infused milk and melted butter. Pour the batter into the mold or ramekins and arrange the cherries on top, allowing them to mostly sink. (Stems up is nice if you can arrangement it.)
Place the clafoutis in the oven and bake until set and golden in color. For –
12- inch mold – 35 to 40 minutes ♥ 8-ounce ramekins – 25 to 30 minutes
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack to room temperature. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Optional: if you approve of gilding the lily, you might even add a dollop of freshly-whipped sweet cream.
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For a printed caflouti copy, click here.
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I borrowed the recipe from La Tartine Gourmande, Béatrice Peltre, adapting it only slightly.