It's cherry season! To celebrate I bring you a rerun filmed a couple years ago [insert standard lower-quality apology] for clafouti. Other than straight from the hand, this is my favorite way to enjoy cherries. I hope you give it a try! What follows is the original post from 7/28/08...
Clafouti (klah-foo-tee) is one of the world's great recipes for enjoying fresh cherries. This French favorite is a sort of baked custard, studded with fresh cherries, and scented with vanilla. It's the kind of dish that's impossible to become tired of, by virtue of the cherry's short season. Once a year, cherry clafouti comes into your life, like a friend with benefits, and for a few short weeks gives you great pleasure.
The recipe is remarkably simple, and the first time you make it you'll stare in wonder as it puffs up from the sides of the baking dish. You'll also stare in wonder when you see me add the cherries without removing the pits. Traditionally, cherry clafouti is made using fruit that hasn’t been pitted. Clafouti aficionados claim (and I believe them) that as the cherries bake, the pits give off a sexy, sensual scent that is missing from the pitted version.
So, that is the decision you are faced with - risk catastrophic dental injuries for a little extra flavor, or pit the cherries and play it safe. To me, it's no decision at all, the pits must be baked in. Besides, as I'm sure those of you that make this will agree, after the cherries are cooked, it only takes a little press with the fork to liberate the pit, and cast it aside. For your average serving of cherry clafouti this means maybe 4-5 pits - a small price to pay for authentic taste. This recipe will also work for things like peaches, plums, and berries in case cherry season has passed you by. Enjoy!
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla
pinch of salt
12 oz cherries (a couple handfuls)