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Claf your hands!

Goddamn, cherries: am I right? Course I am. Cherries are heavenly little crimson summer pearls. I love them. I will eat them until I am a little bit ashamed, and then I’ll go into the other room and eat more. So to preserve my self-respect, I decided to try my luck with cooking them. Passed the question “what should I cook?” on to the foodblogosphere and the overwhelming response was clafoutis. Easy as pie. Easier, actually.

0. Preheat oven to 180°C.

1. Cherries. Traditionally, you leave the pits in: they keep the cherries juicier and impart a slight almond flavour to the mix. They’re also an hilarious challenge to unsuspecting consumers. So I pitted them. Pile your cherries into a baking dish, making sure you at least cover the bottom.

First you do this.

Some recipes suggested soaking the cherries in kirsch, but I decided against doing so for the following two reasons: (1) I have no kirsch; and (2) I have a huge bottle of cooking sherry to use up. So I drizzled the sherry over and left it to soak in while I took care of the rest.

2. Toast some slivered almonds. ‘Nuff said. Didn’t even bother photographing this bit.

and then this happens!

3. Make some batter:

  • 3 eggs
  • 300mL milk (I used soy milk because we’re running low on moo)
  • 60g flour
  • 60g sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • generous sploosh of vanilla

Whisk all the batter bits together until it’s really smooth, then pour it over your waiting cherries.

3b. (optional) You might, at this point, discover you have more batter than you need: you really want some fruit peeping out the top. So you could bake the remaining batter in another dish, or make it into pancakes, or fling it over a rainbow: but if you’re me, and don’t want to make more washing-up for yourself, you’ll simply top up the dish with all the remaining cherries and pour the entirety of the batter in.

4. Top with toasted almonds and pop in the oven.

Clafoutis goes in...

5. Yay!

Let your clafoutis cool: it’s nice warm, but I don’t know about hot. Plus I was still full from dinner, so I wrapped it up to cool on the bench overnight. Clafoutis for breakfast. Yessir.

Sleep tight, clafoutis! mwah mwah mwah

When you take it out of the oven, it will still be slightly wibbly in the middle: it should deflate and set as it cools. Mine was still a wee bit squidgy when it came time to cut it. Next time, I’ll cook it in a bigger, shallower dish, since I had to nearly double the cooking time for it. I also suspect using soy milk instead of moo milk has an effect: I think the higher fat content of moo milk makes it set better, but I’m only speculating (read: talking out my arse).

And I will definitely, definitely be making this again: how easy is it? Fruit; batter; almonds (optional); cook. Unexpected bonus: if you make it with anything other than cherries, it’s called a flaugnarde which is incredibly fun to say. Try alternating it with “plotz”, as in “this flaugnarde will totally make you plotz” and you will win friends and influence people. Trust me.

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