Cherries are not a tropical fruit… but I remember when I was little my dad used to buy us cherries whenever we traveled to NYC. It was such a treat to sit and eat those deliciously sweet cherries…
Now, thanks to Costco, I have a huge bundle of sweet cherries in my fridge. I sit and eat a small bowl watching TV but I wanted to do something special with them too. The other day, reading Serious Eats we discussed how to best freeze cherries – if one should pit them before or after freezing them. So after that discussion, I knew I decided to eat them raw or make them into something while fresh…
Then, last week, also in Serious Eats, we were asked to provide our French inspired recipes. And you know me and my fascination of anything French… and with the abundance of fresh cherries in my fridge, I decided to make Cherry Almond Clafouti. A clafouti is a French dessert where you take a pancake-like batter and pour it over fresh fruits and bake in the oven.
I’ll be honest… I’ve never eaten a cherry or any other clafouti in my life, partly because clafouti recipes out there all include eggs. What I know about clafouti I have learned by watching TV and reading cooking recipes. Alton Brown made a recipe the other day using a dutch oven and coals; Ina Garten has a few other recipes too. So I decided to take what I liked about some of these, add a few little twists of my own… and this is what I ended up with.
This recipe makes a medium cherry clafouti or two small ones – enough for 2 people. Romatic, no?
CHERRY ALMOND CLAFOUTI
About 10 fresh cherries, pitted ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted – but you could also use peeled whole almonds 1½ tbs butter ½ cup soy milk, plus 2 tbs 1/3 cup spelt flour, sifted 1/8 cup brown sugar 1 ½ tsp egg replacer 1 tsp vanilla powder A pinch of salt
- Pre-heat toaster oven to 350F
- Pit the cherries and set them aside. I pitted them by smashing them lightly with the side of a knife. Be careful the juice of the cherries doesn’t fall on your clothes. They “spit” a bit when you smash them.
- Toast your almonds by placing them in a small tray and baking them for about 10 minutes. As soon as they start to smell like almonds, take them off the oven. Set them aside to cool off a bit.
- Butter the inside of your baking dish. I used a large ramekin for this… but you could also use 2 smaller ramekins to serve as individual desserts.
- Prepare the egg replacer by mixing the egg replacer powder with 2 tbs of soy milk. Set aside.
- Place the milk in a medium bowl, add the sugar and whisk well until the sugar has dissolved in the milk. Add the egg replacer mix. Whisk again to incorporate. Place the flour onto a fine sieve and sift over the milk mixture. Whisk well. Add the salt and vanilla powder and whisk the whole mixture for a few minutes until well combined and air is incorporated into it.
- Place the cherries in the baking dish. They should cover the whole bottom of the dish. Add a few almonds to the cherries. Pour almost the whole batter in top of the cherries, the batter should only cover them slightly.
- Bake in oven for about 30-35 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, take them out slightly, place a few extra almonds on top and add a few small pieces on butter on top to make it golden brown.
- The clafoutis should be puffy and golden delicious. Leave to cool about 30 minutes before serving.
This recipe is delicious… but I would like to work on it a little bit to perfect it. I will definitely let you know of the results of those tastings soon. I still have lots of cherries in that fridge…