Brandied Cherry Clafoutis

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Clafoutis is rustic French custard that's often made with cherries. The problem? Many desserts that use fresh cherries don't have a deep, rich cherry taste. Brandied cherries are the answer: they concentrate the flavors of fresh cherries while adding a boozy kick.

Why this recipe works:

  • Using cherries soaked in brandy and simple syrup concentrates their flavor.
  • Lemon zest also helps to lift what can be an otherwise one-note custard.
  • Some clafoutis are made with all milk or all cream, but I find a balance produces the best custard.
  • If you already have the brandied cherries lying around (as I'd encourage you to do at all times) the whole thing takes about 10 minutes to put together

Notes:

  • The cherries must soak in the brandy overnight, so plan on starting this recipe at least one day ahead.
  • The recipe for brandied cherries makes about 2 cups, so I recommend making the entire recipe.
  • This is also nice with orange zest instead of lemon, when it takes on flavors similar to a Manhattan.
  • Clafoutis is good at room temperature, but I also like it chilled. Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Give it another shake of confectioners sugar before serving.

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Brandied Cherry Clafoutis

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 8
Active time:40 minutes
Total time:1 hour 20 minutes plus an overnight soak for the cherries
Special equipment:9-inch pie plate or cast iron skillet, mixing bowl, whisk
This recipe appears in: Seasonal Baking: Brandied Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • Butter for greasing pie plate
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest from 1 medium lemon (see note)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups brandied cocktail cherries, strained, pitted, and destemmed (see note)
  • Confectioners sugar, for serving

Procedures

  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter pie plate, then pour in cherries and arrange them so they're covering the plate in a single layer.

  2. 2

    In a large bowl, rub together sugar and lemon zest with your fingers so that zest releases some of its oils. Whisk in eggs. Add heavy cream and milk and whisk until combined. Whisk in vanilla and salt.

  3. 3

    Add flour and whisk until basically smooth (you will see bits of zest, but flour should be totally incorporated). Pour batter over cherries. Bake until puffed and golden, 35-40 minutes. Let cool.

  4. 4

    When clafoutis is cool (see note), sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve.

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