The texture of a Clafoutis is something in between a custardy cake and a pancake. This Cherry Clafoutis, with slivered almonds on top, is delicious just out of the oven, for a delectable breakfast.
Usually Loreto is the one that makes breakfast. He is so good at it! He prepares the most amazing coffee and more often than not bakes fresh scones, whips up pancakes, french toasts, scrambled eggs. Less often, but still quite frequently: waffles, eggs benedict and omelettes. But even when he simply makes the coffee and toasts some bread in the toaster, his breakfast is so incredibly good that the smell drives me down the stairs even with my eyes closed.
This morning is my turn, though, I told him yesterday that I wanted to make a Cherry Clafoutis based on a recipe for Apricot Clafoutis that I found in Emeril Lagasse's Farm to Fork cookbook.
It all started with some beautiful British Columbia cherries, probably the last ones of the season, that we bought at the Strathcona Farmers Market and that were screaming to be utilized for something a little out of the ordinary. Beautiful crimson red fruits, sweet and juicy.
The Clafoutis is a french country dessert, originated in the Southern region of Limousin. The term clafoutis refers actually only to clafoutis aux cérises (cherry clafoutis), all the modern declination with other fruits should be called "Flongarde". For the purists, the cherries should be put whole and not pitted because -they say- they release an almond flavor. But who wants to take the chance to break a tooth while eating a dessert? So here I am, pitting the cherries. Moreover, Emeril's addition of almond meal in the batter and slivered almonds on top gives that nutty sweetness that we might lose by pitting the cherries. There you go.
The texture of a clafoutis is something in between a custardy cake and a pancake. It is delicious just out of the oven, for a delectable, comforting breakfast. It is so simple yet it has so many levels of flavours. The "crepes-like" batter is rich and made with eggs, butter, flour, heavy cream, sugar and flavoured by the vanilla bean and the almond meal. The slivered almonds on top provide the crunch and the icing sugar an additional sweetness.
A piece of the Cherry Clafoutis, some whipped cream on the side, the delicious flavored coffee by Loreto and our morning has all the premises to turn into a great day!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the baking dish
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup half and half milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 1 Whole vanilla bean
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 and ¾ cups pitted cherries
- confectioners sugar, for garnish (optional)
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 10 by 10 inches gratin dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter, and then dust it with a bit of flour to coat the bottom and sides of the dish. Tap the dish to remove excess flour.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, heavy cream, brandy, and melted butter. Using a small knife, slice the vanilla bean down the middle and scape out the tiny seeds. Discard the bean or save it for another purpose, and add the seeds to the egg mixture.
- In a separated medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, all purpose flour, sugar, salt, and stir to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until just incoroporated.
- Spread the cherries into the prepared baking dish (possibly cut side down). Pour the batter over the cherries. Bake until the clafoutis is golden brown and just firm, with a spongelike texture, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish, if desired, with confectioners' sugar and toasted almonds.
The clafoutis is delicious served warm from the oven. The almond flour adds a little bit of nutty sweetness.
- Serving Size: 8 portions