Cherry season is nearly over, but until the last fruit drops from the tree, I will be reveling in the summer sweetness only cherries can offer.
Of course, there are so many incredible ways to enjoy cherries — eaten fresh, dehydrated, in cookies, homemade Larabars, sourdough cakes, cheesecake, jams, syrups, and scrumptious dessert sauces. That’s just to name a few.
If you need inspiration, check out the GNOWFGLINS’ Pinterest board or this one celebrating delectable summer fruits — just for those of us who find a special joy in fruits that taste like sunshine and drip down our chins unwittingly.
However, while all these ways of enjoying cherries are lovely, there is one way I particularly love. I’m a sucker for creamy, silky-smooth custards in all their glorious forms and cherries are a perfect vehicle for this foil. I’ve been pairing our favorite summer fruits with both panna cotta (the super simple Italian custard) and clafoutis (classic French flan that is a sultry ménage à trois of pancake, custard, and cake).
To be honest, you can use any summer fruit in this dish, but berries and stonefruit work best and if you want to be really authentic, it’s a clafouti only when cherries are used. Otherwise it’s known as a flaugnarde. (Thank you, Julia Child, once again for schooling me properly.)
Happy cooking and happy eating!
Classic Cherry Clafoutis
- 3/4 pound cherries fresh or frozen, enough to cover the bottom of a pie dish
- 4 organic or pastured eggs
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1/2 cup raw whole milk *
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup flour of choice **
- pinch sea salt
- powdered sugar for dusting *** (optional)
Butter a pie dish and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Either place the cherries whole, pit and all, into the pan (evidently this helps heighten the almond flavor) or halve and pit them.
You may also use previously frozen cherries directly from the freezer.
Scatter them over the bottom of the pie dish, covering it entirely in a single layer.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and honey until smooth, then add all remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. (Alternatively, you can place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.)
Pour the batter slowly over the cherries to disturb them as little as possible. (They'll likely rise to the surface, which is fine.)
Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or when the clafoutis is nicely golden and well set.
Set aside to cool in the pan.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
My favorite is eating it cold for breakfast. 🙂
*Make your own homemade almond milk.
** You can use freshly milled wheat flour, sprouted flour, spelt flour, almond flour, rice flour, etc.
Flour gives this custard a slightly cakey texture. An all-purpose-like flour such as freshly milled and sifted flour will give the smoothest texture, but sprouted flour, spelt flour, or whole wheat will certainly work as well (and using sprouted is the most traditional method). You may even use gluten-free flours, such as almond flour or brown rice flour, or even sprouted brown rice flour, but since there is no gluten to bind it together, the mixture will separate slightly. Still delicious, just not as smooth.
How do you best like to enjoy cherries? Any particular way that knocks your socks off?
By the way, as I mentioned above, you certainly can use any summer fruit you love. I’ve been using apricots regularly!
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This sounds wonderful! Can you substitute coconut cream for the heavy cream? I just recently found out I need to be dairy free so I’m a little uncertain what kinds of substitutions can be made. Thank you.
Kresha Faber says
I haven’t tried it, but I would think that would work just fine. In fact, I think you could just use a full cup of almond milk to substitute for both the milk and the cream, which would be easier and would highlight the cherry/almond flavor.
I hope that helps! 🙂
Thank you! I will try that.
We don’t live in an area where we can get local cherries. I do though have A LOT of apples. Can I do something similar? But if I understand correctly it would then be a flaugnarde?
Kresha Faber says
You could do it with apples, definitely. My first thought is that I’m not sure the flavors would be right, but on the other hand, it might turn out like a Dutch Baby, which would be scrumptious. 🙂 Regardless of flavor, though, it should work just fine.
And yes, unless there’s a specific name for custardy desserts that use pome fruits (such as apples and pears) of which I am unaware, it would be a flaugnarde.
I don’t know if that helps at all, but there’s my two cents. 🙂