Clafoutis (pronounced "kla-foo-TEE") is a rustic French dessert originally from Limousin, in southern France. This region is best known for its sweet black cherries, which, left whole and unpitted, are traditionally baked in a sweet custard filling. Purists insist the pits help to perfume the dish with an appetizing scent, but you can use pitted fruit if you prefer. Preparation is fast and easy, so the dessert is a perfect choice for impromptu gatherings.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) sugar
- 6 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) fresh cherries, pitted, or 1 1/4 lb. (625 g) frozen cherries, thawed and drained
- 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
- Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter an 11-inch ovenproof fry pan or large baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Using a handheld mixer, beat on medium-high speed until ribbons form, about 8 minutes. Add the flour, vanilla and cream. Reduce the speed to low and beat until completely blended, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a small bowl, using a handheld whisk, beat the egg whites and salt for about 30 seconds. Add the whites to the batter and beat with the mixer on low speed until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
Preheat the prepared fry pan in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes.
In a bowl, stir together the cherries, the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the lemon zest. Remove the pan from the oven, pour in the cherries and top with the batter. Bake until the clafoutis is set in the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream. Serves 6 to 8.
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