Cherries are everywhere right now and, as I was sitting in the afternoon sun indulging, I thought about baking with cherries. I rarely do it but I'm not sure why - perhaps it seems like too much trouble with all the pitting required or perhaps it's because cherries don't seem to hang around long enough in our kitchen to even think about turning them into a dessert.
This time, however, I was determined to do just that and I immediately turned to the cherry clafoutis from one of my favourite cookbooks (and the inspiration for the title of my blog), In the Sweet Kitchen: The Definitive Guide to the Baker's Pantry by Regan Daley.
Traditionally clafoutis is made with whole cherries, pit and all, but I decided to be a little kinder to my guests and pit the cherries. I settled in to what I thought would be a seriously tedious task but it was actually very quick and easy, although I have to admit that I did use a cherry pitter (a unitasker worth making room for in the kitchen).
Frankly the rest of the dessert was just as easy - a simple custard, poured over the fruit, baked in the oven until puffed and golden.
I took a couple of liberties with the original recipe, swapping out the Kirsch and replacing it with Amaretto and using 10% cream rather than half whole milk and half whipping cream. I also added a few more cherries than called for in the original recipe, which made the custard a bit loose, taking longer to set in the oven and causing me to overbake the clafoutis slightly. Not that anyone complained!
Adapted from In the Sweet Kitchen: The Definitive Guide to the Baker's Pantry by Regan Daley
1 1/2 pounds ripe sweet cherries
1 1/2 cups 10% cream (or half milk and half whipping cream)
1 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp Amaretto or cherry liqueur
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter a 2 quart baking dish. Pit cherries and scatter in the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
To prepare the custard bring the cream (or milk and cream if using half and half) to a boil and remove from heat. Add vanilla and set aside.
Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
Beat the eggs, adding sugar slowly until mixture thickens and is pale yellow in colour. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add a small amount of the hot cream mixture, beating constantly, then slowly add the rest of the liquid while beating the mixture. Stir in the liqueur.
Pour custard over the cherries and bake until the centre is just set and the custard is puffed and brown, 30-40 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes then dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.