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Archive for August, 2015

Cherry Clafoutis

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Cherry Clafoutis

It’s been a while since I posted and there has been a little guilt. Don’t worry I haven’t stopped eating I have just been very slow to write about it. I promise to do better.

I also have to confess to being given a little prod by EvieSaffronStrands who asked for my cherry clafoutis recipe.

August is one of the most productive months of the year for fruit and vegetables and one of the busiest in my kitchen. I try and preserve all I can for the coming winter months by turning whatever is in season into jams, jellies and chutneys.

The fruit grown in the garden is usually eaten before we have reached the kitchen door. So excited and amazed are we, that anything so wonderful could be grown just a few feet away. I also secretly think that it is just too good to be used for preserving and best eaten and enjoyed straight away.

There are a few farms that I buy from direct. Each farm is favoured for a particular fruit or vegetable. One on my list is a farm that supplies the most wonderful cherries and plums. This year their cherries have been delicious and we have arrived home with an empty basket because we couldn’t resist eating them en route.

On the last two visits I have been spoilt for choice on the cherry variety front. This time the cherry season was coming to a close for this particular farm and Valentine cherries were the last to be had. Not only the last variety but the last bag. It didn’t take a moment to decide that I would make one last clafoutis before the season ended. To make sure they actually got home without being tampered with they went straight into the boot, out of reach.

Many clafoutis recipes call for the stones to be left in, suggesting that it gives the cherries a more almond flavour. I feel that any benefit that this may give (and I don’t think it does) is far outweighed by the chance of a broken tooth. I don’t have a cherry stoner so use a small sharp knife to slit each cherry, giving me enough room to prise the stone out, thus keeping the cherries nearly whole.

Just in case I have robbed the dish of an almond presence, I soak them for a couple of hours in Amaretto, which is a rich nutty almond flavoured Italian wine. It adds flavour to the cherries without overpowering them – but you can certainly taste it.

The texture of the batter is very much like that for bread and butter pudding.

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Clafoutis

Ingredients

500 gms fresh cherries or enough cherries to fill your tin in one layer
3 eggs
210 ml full fat milk
60 ml double cream
50 gms plain flour
75 gms caster sugar
20 gms melted butter (cooled)
pinch of salt.

3 tablespoons of Amaretto (optional)

Butter to grease the tin and a couple of teaspoons of caster sugar to coat the tin.

Method

Wash the cherries and remove the stones, place in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of Amaretto. Leave to soak for 2 hours.

Turn on oven to 350F/180C/Gas mark 4.

Grease a 9 inch/23cm pie tin with butter and sprinkle with caster sugar.

In a bowl add the 3 eggs, flour, sugar, salt and melted butter along with the milk and cream.  Beat well or use a blender until a smooth batter is achieved. Cover and leave to stand for at least 30 minutes to rest.

Drain the cherries and place in the pie tin to create a single layer.

Give the egg batter a stir and then strain through a sieve onto the cherries.

Place in the upper middle of the oven. Check after 35 minutes – the clafoutis is cooked when the batter has risen up and turned a deep golden brown. I have found in my gas oven the clafoutis takes 45 minutes maybe a little more maybe a little less. After 35 minutes the batter should have set which allows me to turn the clafoutis around so as to create an even browning.

Remove from the oven slightly cool and serve.

Dust with icing sugar for more eye appeal and eat on its own or with double cream.

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