Recipe: Cherry Clafoutis with cherry vanilla syrup

What is this clafoutis? Why should I want to eat this?

It’s a French baked dessert, traditionally made with cherries. It’s like this delicious magical hybrid of cake/pancake/slice – made with a egg-heavy batter that gets poured over cherries and then baked in the oven.

Of course, you *could* serve it on its own but you could also serve it with this glossy, rich, fragrant cherry vanilla syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Extra calories means extra yum! Desserts that involve hot and cold at the SAME time are my favourite. I made a simple cherry vanilla syrup to really make the most of the cherries.

You could go and get sour cherries (Morello cherries). But since they’re damn near impossible to find fresh, you can use the jarred variety. Which coincidentally comes in it’s own juicey syrup that you can reduce and use as a syrup too.

In this case, I went and used frozen cherries. Of the ordinary kind. But make no mistake. This is no ordinary dessert. It will impress and make you drool.

The cherry syrup made enough to last two other desserts – poured over ice cream AND even had enough to pour over an apple pastry tart I made. Versatility and reducing wastage. That is, if you don’t drink the syrup on its own.

Cherry Clafoutis with Cherry Vanilla Syrup

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 300 mL thickened cream
  • 3 eggs, plus extra 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 300 g frozen cherries
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped)
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Method:

  1. Combine flour, salt and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks and cream together, then pour into the dry mixture. Whisk until batter is smooth. Stand the batter at room temperature for 1 hour (this allows the starch to swell and produce a lighter texture).
  3. Preheat oven to 160°C and grease a rectangular 10cmx20cm baking dish.
  4. Meanwhile, place frozen cherries in a small saucepan and cover with water (probably about 1/2 cup), warm over low heat. Add in remaining 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla paste.  Stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove cherries from the saucepan and set aside (without as much syrup as possible). Increase heat to medium and simmer for 2-3 minutes until reduced and syrupy. Allow to cool.
  5. Place cherries in the baking dish. Give the batter a stir as it will have started to separate then pour over the cherries. Push cherries around a bit so that they’re evenly distributed.
    Cherry clafoutis - before
  6. Bake in the oven for 1 hour until puffed and golden. Cool in the dish for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
    Cherry clafoutis - after
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and the cherry vanilla syrup!

Notes:

There’s lots of variations to this classic dessert. You can substitute part of the flour with almond meal for a slightly nutty flavour and more texture as this is quite dense. You could even use other times of fruit – other varieties of berries or even a mix of berries would be suitable too.

It will sink a bit when it comes out of the oven, never fear. It is meant to do this!

I kept the remaining syrup sealed in a jug with cling wrap in the fridge for 4 days!

If you don’t feel like going over the top with ice cream and syrup, you can simply dust with icing sugar before serving.

You can also pour the cherries and batter into individual ovenproof dishes if you want to shake things up a bit. Just bake for a shorter amount of time.

 

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