The base for clafoutis typically involves only flour, milk, and eggs, but getting it just right can be tricky. You need enough eggs for the custard to set up, but use too many and the flavor is overly eggy and the texture turns gummy as it cools. To solve this problem, I’ve cut back on the eggs and added baking powder for a bit of lift. The custard comes together best in a blender, but if all you’ve got is a bowl and a whisk, use them, and get it as smooth as you can.
For the kirsch in this recipe, I like Trimbach. It’s pricey, but since I only ever use a teaspoon or so at a time, a single bottle lasts a while. Kirsch works its magic on all stone fruits and berries, by the way. Toss it with peaches before baking them into a pie or with plums destined for crumble to enhance the fruits’ flavor. If you prefer, you can swap in amaretto or ½ teaspoon almond extract for the kirsch in this recipe. Clafoutis traditionalists get their hint of almond flavor by leaving the cherries unpitted. I tried that once, but worried so much about my guests’ teeth that I’ve been pitting my cherries ever since.
- 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter for greasing the pan
- Granulated sugar for dusting the pan
- 2 cups (400 grams) fresh cherries, pitted
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons (38 grams) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon kirsch
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1/3 cup (42 grams) all-purpose flower
- Confectioner’s sugar, for finishing
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Grease a 9-inch baking dish, cake pan, or pie plate with the 1 tablespoon butter. (Use the entire tablespoon so the coating is thick.) Dust the sides and bottom of the dish with granulated sugar and shake out an excess.
Put the cherries into the baking dish and shake into a single layer. Combine the milk, brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla extract, kirsch, salt, and flour in the jar of a blender, and blend on high speed for 1 minute. Pour the batter over the cherries, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the clafoutis puffs up and turns golden brown, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve at room temperature or chilled, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.